I’ve made chicken like this for many years now. I learned this technique during my restaurant days. Servers would tend to our tables until the moment we heard the expediter yell “RUNNERS PLEASE!” then we’d drop everything and rush to the line to wait while Chef meticulously added his finishing touches. The instant each plate was finished, and not a moment later, we’d deliver the perfect plates to our tables.Jump to Recipe
While Chef plated and garnished, I’d quietly observe the line cooks as they seasoned, seared and sautèed. I absorbed every move they made like a sponge. Restaurant cooks make nearly all proteins this way, with the exception of fish since it cooks so quickly. Sear one side in a hot pan, flip and let it finish in the oven. I love this preparation because it yields a tender, juicy and flavorful result but it’s also very hands-off. This allows you to cook other components of the meal while the protein roasts.
I usually buy bone in, skin on breasts. Skin has fat and fat helps to develop flavor and keeps meat juicy. I try to buy them from the butcher counter where they’re often bigger than the pre-packaged kind. The ones shown in the photo were jumbo, about 3/4 lb each, and I cooked them about 40-45 min. A pack of 2 boneless, skinless breasts are typically around a pound in which case I’d cook them for about 30 min. Regardless, the best way to check for doneness is with an instant read thermometer. Poultry should be cooked to 165, but keep in mind the temp will rise at least 5 degrees while they rest.
Make sure to let the chicken rest. Resting is super important as it allows the chicken’s natural juices to redistribute into the the meat. When you cut into a piece of cooked meat right away, the juices just run out onto the cutting board and causes the meat to be dry and tough.
I like to add lemon, onion and few springs of a fresh hearty herb like sage, thyme or rosemary to the pan if I have them on hand. Better yet, throw in some diced sweet potatoes or other hearty veg and call it a one pot dinner!
Perfectly Roasted Chicken
- 2 chicken breasts preferably bone in and skin on
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 1-2 sprigs sage, thyme or rosemary optional
- 1 small onion, quartered optional
- Preheat the oven to 375.
- Rinse and thoroughly dry chicken breasts.
- Season the skin side of the chicken with salt and pepper.
- Heat a large sautè pan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil.
- Once oil is hot, place the chicken seasoned side down in the pan and cook for 5-7 minutes to achieve a deep golden brown color.
- Flip the breasts to skin side up and transfer the pan to the oven. Roast for 30-45 min depending on the size of the chicken. .5 lb chicken breasts will take about 30 min where 3/4 – 1 lb will take closer to 45. Check for doneness with an instant read thermometer. Poultry should be cooked to 165.
This is such I simple recipe and I can guarantee this technique will become a staple in your cooking repertoire. It’s so versatile you can cook nearly any protein this way and end up with juicy, tender meat, every time.