As I said in yesterday’s post, I have an awful lot of chicken in the freezer and have decided to just cook out of the freezer this week. Tonight I started off with the bone-in chicken breasts. As usual, I wanted an easy recipe, not a lot of ingredients and a reasonable cooking time. As usual, America’s Test Kitchen did not disappoint by supplying this recipe for Pan-Roasted Chicken Breasts with Sage-Vermouth Sauce. it doesn’t take long, gives you moist, juicy chicken and a very flavorful sauce for the chicken. This recipe calls for brining the chicken breasts for 30 minutes before cooking, but if you don’t have the time for that, you can go right to the roasting and it will also turn out well.
Pan-Roasted Chicken Breasts with Sage-Vermouth Sauce
1/2 cup table salt
2 (1 1/2 pound) whole bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, split in half along the breast bone and trimmed of rib sections
Ground black pepper
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 large shallot, minced
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup dry vermouth
4 medium fresh sage leaves, each leaf torn in half
3 tablespoons butter, cut into 3 pieces
Salt and pepper
Dissolve the salt in 2 quarts of cold water in a large container; submerge the chicken in the brine, cover and refrigerate about 30 minutes. Rinse the chicken well and pat dry with paper towels. Season the chicken with pepper.
Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position and heat the oven to 450 degrees. heat the oil in a large ovenproof skillet (I used my large cast iron pan) over medium-high heat until the oil begins to smoke. Brown the chicken, skin side down, until deep golden, about 5 minutes; turn the chicken and brown until golden on the second side, about 3 minutes longer. Turn the chicken skin side down and place the skillet in the oven. Roast until the thickest part of the breast registers 160 to 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a platter and let it rest while making the sauce. (If you’re not making the sauce, let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving it)
Using a potholder to protect your hands from the hot skillet handle, pour off all but 1 teaspoon of the fat from the skillet; add the shallot, then set the skillet over medium-high heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the shallot is softened, about 1 1/2 minutes. add the chicken broth, vermouth and sage, increase the heat to high and simmer rapidly, scraping the skillet bottom with a wooden spoon to loosen the browned bits, until slightly thickened and reduced to about 3/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Pour the accumulated chicken juices into the skillet, reduce the heat to medium and whisk in the butter 1 piece at a time; season with salt and pepper to taste and discard the sage. Spoon the sauce around the chicken breasts and serve immediately.
I served this with some mashed potatoes and broccoli, but you could easily use rice or noodles instead to go with the chicken. The sauce comes out great and has a wonderful flavor thanks to the sage and the vermouth.
That’s tonight’s meal, quick and easy. Tomorrow I have a choice between chicken legs and boneless chicken, but I haven’t decided which way I want to go with it yet. It will be a mystery until you check back tomorrow! Until then, enjoy your evening and enjoy your meal!