Chicken as a protein has a very mild flavor so in order to make it delicious and pleasing to the palate it needs to be dressed up. Adding spices and herbs, garlic and onion and layering in the flavors to make a sauce or gravy is just what chicken needs. Chicken is like a blank canvas and pairs well with so many other elements in a dish. Tonight I am preparing a pan seared chicken breast finished in the oven with a garlic cream sauce.
Along side, some crispy potatoes and sauteed corn and bell peppers.
I am using bone in chicken breasts that I got on sale. You can use chicken thighs or a combination of the two, but I insist on skin on as we are looking for crispy skin. Remove the skin later if you are on a restricted diet. Because the breasts are large I generally split them to get more portions and one half ends up being enough protein for each of us. You decide whether to split the breasts or not depending on the appetite of your family. Today I have decided to leave them whole. Any left overs can be re-heated.
A note about the cooking time of the chicken in the oven: the end temperature for safety reasons of chicken is 165° F. During the resting time of the chicken it will be covered with foil. It should be safe to take the chicken out at 163° and it will finish to the proper temperature while you are creating the sauce. If you are using thighs the cooking time will be a little less.
- 3-4 large chicken breasts bone in
- Thoroughly wash your chicken under cold running water then dry it completely with paper towels. If you do not dry the chicken it will not crisp up.
Spices for the chicken itself (these are all dried spices):
- 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 2 tsp. granulated garlic
- 1 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tsp. thyme
- Blend all ingredients in a small bowl.
- Sprinkle generous amounts on both sides of your dried chicken pieces.
The next step is searing the chicken. While you are doing that preheat your oven to 350°.
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- Over medium high heat and in a large saute pan that can go from the stove top to the oven, melt the butter and olive oil.
- When the two start to bubble add your chicken pieces to the pan skin side down.
- Sear the skin side until crispy and deep golden brown. Approximately 4-5 minutes.
- Turn the chicken over and pop it in the oven to continue to cook for approximately 30-40 minutes more. See the above note.
- Remove the chicken from the pan to a plate and cover with foil.
Time to make the sauce.
- 1/2 cup chicken broth or stock
- Place the pan on the stove top and over medium heat add in the broth and bring to a boil while you are whisking to get up all of the good bits.
- Strain the stock into a bowl using a fine mesh strainer and set aside.
- Wipe out your skillet.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 5-6 cloves garlic - finely minced
- 1/4 cup finely minced sweet onion or shallot
- 2 tbsp. fresh flat leaf parsley - rough chop
- 1 tsp. thyme (can use dried or fresh leaves)
- 1 tbsp. sage - rough chop
- 1 sprig rosemary leaves
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup white wine (use one you would drink)
- 1/2 cup of the stock you made after de-glazing the pan.
- In the skillet you just cleaned out and over a medium low heat add in the olive oil.
- Before the oil starts to shimmer, add in the minced onion and garlic. Cook for about 2 minutes until they soften.
- Add in the fresh spices and the wine and the chicken stock. Bring the temperature up to medium high and reduce by half.
- Once again strain the stock through a fine mesh strainer. Use the bowl you already used - less dishes!
- Turn the heat back down to medium low and add in the strained stock.
- Whisk in the heavy cream and you are done with the sauce.
- At this point you can add the chicken back to the pan and pour sauce over it. Or sauce it on the plate.