Serious Eats’ The Food Lab column is seriously a gold mine of cooking information. J. Kenji López-Alt has taken food science and recipe experimentation to the next level. His post on the ultimate chocolate chip cookies is… umm…in-depth? He tried almost every single measurement, technique, ingredient combination you can think of and yes, it took 1,500 cookies and months of testing. Over 30 pounds of flour, people!!
Cookies are not the only thing J. Kenji Lopez-Alt has mastered, of course. To be brief – this is the last chicken breast recipe you will ever need.
To be long-winded, the pan-roasted technique makes for fail-proof moist chicken and the sauce tastes like it came directly from a gourmet restaurant’s kitchen and materialized itself on my plate. White wine and soy sauce! Unbelievable. Naturally, it is a staple chicken recipe for us, and is always a go-to when we can’t think of anything that sounds good for dinner. Which is often.
The one major change I did make is that I used skinless, boneless chicken breasts. The original recipe recommends airline chicken breasts (chicken breast with the first joint of the wing still attached), or boneless, skin-on chicken breasts. The skin adds more flavor and the bone makes for even juicier meat, but skinless, boneless chicken breasts are just easier to find, so I always cruise on the Lazy Express and go with those.
Additionally, I find that the best (dare I say, easiest? Am I detecting a pattern?) herbs combination for my taste is fresh thyme and rosemary. The original recipe calls for chives, tarragon and chervil. Chervil! What will they come up with next? Just kidding, I should really try it. Still, I am happy to report that the results of my version are BRILLIANT.
For the side dish, I kept it very simple with some rosemary roasted potatoes. They had this red, golden, purple potato medley at the store…? I bought them and roasted them in the oven at the same time as the chicken. Serious question, is that a faux-pas? Well, it worked.
Without further ado, I present to you:
Pan-Roasted Chicken Breasts with White Wine and Herbs Sauce and Rosemary Roasted Potatoes
Wait, before we get there, the original recipe did have “easy” in its name, but I omitted that because “easy” is a relative term, isn’t it? The recipe is not particularly challenging, especially for someone who has cooked a decent amount, but it is surprisingly time consuming. Regardless, it is worth it. Worth it! A thousand times, worth it.
Chicken recipe adapted from The Food Lab’s Easy Pan-Roasted Chicken Breasts with White Wine and Fine-Herbs Pan Sauce Recipe
For the chicken:
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (6 to 8 ounces each)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock
- 1 1/2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
- 1 small shallot, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1 medium clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon minced thyme
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves
For the potatoes:
- 1 lb of small potatoes (I used a combo of red, gold and purple)
- 1 teaspoon rosemary (fresh or dried)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 450°F. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.
Heat canola oil in an oven-safe, medium skillet on high. Carefully lay chicken breasts into skillet and cook without moving it until a lovely golden brown color has developed. As I have zero trust for my internal clock, I legit timed it for exactly 6 minutes as the original recipe suggested, and it was indeed the perfect amount of time). Carefully flip ’em over and transfer the skillet into the oven.
In the meantime, combine the wine and stock in a liquid measuring cup and sprinkle gelatin over the top of it. Do not mix. Do not skip this. Set it aside.
- Quarter the potatoes and toss in a bowl with salt, pepper, rosemary and olive oil. Spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Add them to the oven and roast for 15-20 minutes, turning half way through, until fork tender and golden brown.
Cook chicken until no longer pink (internal temp should be 150°F), about 10 to 12 minutes (my chicken breasts were on the thick side so it took a bit longer). Remove skillet from oven and transfer chicken out of the pan. Let it rest!!!
Using the same skillet with all of the drippings, add shallots and garlic. Stir until softened and translucent. Add wine/stock/gelatin mixture and stir thoroughly. Scrape up any brown bits on the bottom, aka flavor bombs.
Continue cooking on high heat until sauce is reduced by about two-thirds, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the butter and soy sauce and continue to stir until it comes together. Remove from heat and set aside. Sauce will thicken as it stands. If it gets too thick, add additional chicken stock.
Cut chicken breasts into slices and transfer to plates. Stir chopped herbs into the pan sauce and season to taste. Spoon sauce over the chicken and serve immediately with the potatoes. And FINE – maybe, like, a salad.
Want to see another chicken recipe? Check out my Kogi Truck Style Korean BBQ Tacos
Want to see a BOMB dessert recipe that would go perfectly with this? Check out my Simple French Apple Tart