Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Pan-Roasted Chicken Breasts – Less Time, More Skin = Better Breasts

Cooking up a few chicken breasts should be a fast, easy, and delicious experience, but for many people it’s actually a slow, hard, and disappointing one. There are several reasons for this, and hopefully this demo for how to pan-roast chicken will eliminate them.

The most important factor is doneness. By “pan-roasting,” you can easily monitor the internal temp, and as I recommend in the video, start the pan sauce when the meat reaches about 150 F. By the time your sauce is done, and the chicken is covered in its hot, buttery goodness, it should have reached 155-160 F., which is what I shoot for.

At this temp, the chicken will be perfectly safe, while remaining moist and tender. I know many recipes, and reference sites, call for longer cooking times, and internal temps of 165-175 F., but that’s just crazy. Unless, you want tough, dry meat; in which case, that works wonderfully.

Also, I think it’s very important we leave the skin on. Not only does this add a lot of flavor, but also much-needed moisture. Even if you’ve been brain-washed into thinking the skin is “bad” for you, which it isn’t, you can peel it off before you eat it, but I recommend leaving it on during the cooking process.

And yes, we’d be getting even more flavor and moisture if we just left the breasts on the bone, but the whole point is for this to be fast to make, and effortless to eat. Otherwise, we might as well roast a whole chicken.

If you’re not into creating your own boneless, skin-on breasts, like we did in the video, you can have the butcher at the market do this for you. You’ll have to go to a larger store where they cut up their own chicken parts, and tell them exactly what you want, but they’ll hook you up at no extra charge. I really hope you give this easy, and very effective technique a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 4 portions:
4 boneless, but skin-on chicken breasts
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh herbs, optional
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup *vinegar
4 tbsp cold butter, cut in smaller pieces
a splash of chicken broth or water, if needed to thin sauce

*I used apple cider here, but literally any vinegar will work. Some of my favorites are sherry, balsamic, rice, and champagne vinegar.

23 comments:

Connor O'Brien said...

Is there a good non-vinegar substitute in this recipe? I' really dislike vinegar so I was thinking maybe lemon or lime juice but that doesn't really seem to fit with the other flavors too great, and I imagine you would want to use a lot less too. I really don't know.

bdwilcox said...

You're the Sir Lancelot of the pan sauce you got.

meigan cameron said...

Looks very delicious and testy.
And also takes less time to cook..Amazing!!!

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

Looks wonderful.......As always......

Berit said...

Mouth so watering! Eagerly waiting for that celery root salad, Chef John!

Jason C said...

Connor, I'm sure any acid would work, particularly lemon juice. If you did use vinegar, I doubt you would be able to taste it, but if you insist, lemon pairs very well with chicken.

Scion said...

Looks Yummers. Chicken - thank you, dinosaurs, for not ALL dying out!

Angry Lemur said...

Chef John, how does one know that one has the correct balance of fats and acids?

Chef John said...

You don't until you taste it. Then you have to taste and adjust.

Angry Lemur said...

I noticed that yours was approximately a 1:1 ratio by volume. Is that a good place to start? Also, how do you know whether to add more fat or more acid (if it's to acidic, add more fat?)?

J Kennedy said...

If you don't like vinegar, use white wine!

William DiStefano said...

gonna use this chicken technique in the piccata recipe so that I don't need to use the flour. THANKS CHEF!

Joseph Lewinson said...

how would i make this with chicken breast on the bone?

Don Gringo said...

hoo wee, another winner CJ!

IndiaStarr said...

Loved this dish!!! Turned out awesome.
No mayonnaise in our salad though, substituted with Faye 2% plain yogurt!. Added dried dates and pecan crumbles also. Mmmm!
Learning to make homemade meals is awesome. Especially when they are quick and simple. This turned out so great! Personally in the future would alter one more ingredient. Instead of celery root I'd use the stalk. The roots so hard...
My hubs liked everything except the celery root. I liked the taste, but didn't care for the root either.

πŸ˜πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ½
Chef John you're awesome!!! I have just loved every meal I've ever made via your blog and videos. I know for a fact without the videos my meals never would have turned out as well.
I suggest your blog to like everyone I know.

NancyLynn said...

Sinfully delicious. Perfect marriage of flavours and textures. A go to recipe. Thanks Chef John!

June Prout said...

SO GREAT! A little difficulty taking the breast bone out because the breasts I got were huge (haha)! Delicious flavors. My favorite part was the crunch of the skin. :)

Adrian Banales said...

Chef! This chicken came out so good, I can't believe I made it! Thanks again for all your inspiration.

Chef John said...

I told you! :) Thanks!

Chris Felton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Todd said...

Stop making everything look so easy ... I just mutilated my chicken breasts taking the bones out.

LOL! j/k!

Dorian DemiGlace said...

Thanks Chef John,

Another great success, but I cheated a little as my breasts were skinless so I wrapped them in bacon. And I used white wine instead of vinegar for an excuse to open a bottle.

Will do this one again (with skin and vinegar)

Sarah Alexander said...

Thanks for this recipe! It turned out great. My friend who doesn't like chicken that much (because it's usually bland and dry) said it was amazing! The crispy skin is delicious. I skipped the pan sauce you suggested because I was making a Thanksgiving-style meal with classic gravy, but I'll be trying your sauce sometime!

By the way, I live in Japan, and my local grocery store carries boneless chicken breasts with the skin on! So that made this even more convenient to make.