Sunday, May 13, 2012

Roasted Chicken Breast with Shallot and Herb Pan Sauce

I've mentioned before that my kids are not fans of white meat, so I've been cooking a lot of drumsticks and thighs lately, though recently I bought a "Picnic Pack" of chicken which had 4 drumsticks, 4 thighs and 3 split bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts. I set the chicken breasts aside for some later meal just for myself and baked the dark pieces for the girls the other night. Today I was rummaging through my fridge in search of something for my Mother's Day Lunch for One when I stumbled across one of the breasts - I'd frozen the other two.

When I have a plain old skinless boneless breast, I often like to poach it to keep it as moist as possible, but this chicken breast still had the skin on it and I wanted to take advantage of it by searing it in a hot skillet and then roasting it. For extra flavor, I stuffed some herbed butter under the skin the way I do when I roast a whole chicken, and used the goodies left in the pan to make a really fast pan sauce to spoon  over the top. If I weren't still low-carbing it, I'd have added a side dish of roasted potatoes to soak up the delectable pan sauce.

Although I set off the smoke alarm - I have no exhaust hood in my kitchen - this dish was well worth it, and makes a lovely special occasion dinner that is very fast and easy.

Roasted Chicken Breast with Shallot Herb Pan Sauce

  • 2 bone-in, skin-on, split chicken breasts 
  • 2 tablespoons butter 
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves 
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme 
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary 
  • Grapeseed oil or olive oil 
  • Salt 
  • Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter 
  • 1 tablespoon chopped shallot 
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced 
  • ¼ cup white wine 
  • ¼ cup chicken broth 
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme 
  • Salt 
  • Pepper 


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 F. You want it really roaring hot. 
  2. Make the herb butter by mashing together the butter with the chopped sage, thyme and rosemary. Take the herb butter and stuff it under the skin. 
  3. Drizzle some grapeseed oil over the chicken and massage it into the skin and flesh. Season with salt and pepper. 
  4. Preheat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until hot, but not smoking. Lay the chicken skin-side down straight onto the dry skillet and let cook for 3 minutes. Don’t move it, just let the skin get nice and brown. 
  5. Using a pair of tongs, flip it over and put the pan in the oven. Roast for 15 minutes, then place the chicken on a plate to rest.
    Note: You’re going to use the same skillet that just came out of the oven, so be careful to use a towel or pot holder, otherwise you’re likely to brand yourself on the hand. That cast iron holds heat for a long time. 
  6.  In the same skillet that you used for the chicken, add a little bit of butter and turn the heat to medium-high. Saute the shallots for a minute, then add the garlic and cook another minute, stirring well to scrape up any of the lovely browned bits in the pan. 
  7.  Pour in the wine to help deglaze the pan and loosen more of the lovely bits stuck to the pan. Let it cook down a bit and then add the sprigs of thyme and chicken broth. Let it cook down until reduced, about 5 minutes, then taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Spoon over the chicken breasts and serve immediately.


  1. If it's of any comfort, I DO have an exhaust hood yet still manage to set off the smoke detector with great skill. :) This looks delish!

  2. Thanks! It was a nice little Mother's Day treat for myself.

    lol I think longingly of my dream kitchen. I would actually put a top-of-the-line range with 8 burners to good use. And ovens! I'd need at least two of them. ;-)


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