For the tastiest chicken breast (and not just for dinner, but to have for sandwiches and salads), roast it intact and remove the skin and bone before eating. Many cooks season the skin before cooking, which is a mistake, because if you discard the skin, the seasoning goes with it. The solution is to pull back the skin, season the flesh, and replace the skin. This trick will save you from serving dried-out chicken breast ever again.
A quick pan sauce finishes the dish. (It is interesting to note the relatively small amount of fat provided by the butter.) If you wish, rub ¼ teaspoon of your favorite dried herb (or ½ teaspoon of a finely chopped fresh herb) on the flesh of each breast, too. Rosemary or tarragon is especially good with roast chicken.
MAKES 4 SERVINGS
- 2 (10-ounce) chicken breast halves, with skin and bone
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Olive oil in a pump sprayer
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- ⅔cup Homemade Chicken Broth (here) or canned low-sodium chicken broth; or ½ cup chicken broth plus 2 tablespoons dry vermouth or dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Work with one breast half at a time: Starting at the rib cage, use a small, sharp knife to cut away the skin from the flesh and pull back the skin, keeping it attached at the wide side of the chicken half.
Season the exposed flesh with the salt and pepper. Replace the skin, covering the flesh.
Arrange the chicken skin side up in a small roasting pan (a metal 9 × 13-inch baking dish works well) and spray with the oil. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the chicken registers 165°F, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a carving board and let stand for 5 minutes. (If you are preparing the chicken specifically for salads and sandwiches, let cool completely. You may choose to skip the next step.)
Pour off all but 1 teaspoon of the fat from the pan. Add the shallot to the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the shallot softens, about 1 minute. Add the broth and bring to a boil over high heat, scraping up the browned bits in the pan with a wooden spoon. Boil until the broth has reduced by one-third, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. If you wish to thicken the sauce slightly, add the butter to the pan sauce and whisk until the butter melts.
Carve the meat from the chicken, discarding the skin and bones. Transfer to dinner plates and drizzle
equal amounts of the sauce over each serving. Serve hot.
(1 serving, without butter) 138 calories, 21 g protein, 1 g carbohydrates, 5 g fat, 0 g fiber, 62 mg cholesterol, 370 mg sodium, 400 mg potassium. Food groups: 3 ounces lean meat. (1 serving, with butter) 165 calories, 21 g protein, 1 g carbohydrates, 8 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 69 mg cholesterol, 370 mg sodium, 400 mg potassium. Food groups: 3 ounces lean meat.
(1 serving, with wine and butter in the sauce) 168 calories, 21 g protein, 1 g carbohydrates, 8 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 69 mg cholesterol, 367 mg sodium, 400 mg potassium. Food groups: 3 ounces lean meat.
Tagged: chicken recipes for dinner