There’s nothing more frustrating that coming home from work and facing a fridge with few ingredients, especially when you’re tired from a long day and all you want to do is plop down in front of the TV and relax. Pan roasted chicken breasts are a quick and simple main dish to throw together in a hurry to get you out of the kitchen and on your way to the “relaxing” part. This is actually a favorite meal around our house, and for some reason, I seldom make it – probably because I’m trying to think up creative new recipes. But sometimes you just can’t beat a good ol’ stand-by!
One key to making this recipe delicious is roasting at a high temperature – 450 degrees F to crisp and caramelize the skin. Second to that is the cooking time and an instant read meat thermometer. Taking the internal temperature of meat (chicken especially) is crucial for many reasons – one, so you don’t get sick, and two – so you don’t overcook the meat. Nothing’s much worse that chalky, flavorless chicken breast. Bleh! If you don’t own a meat thermometer, I would recommend the Palermo Ultra Fast Instant Read Meat Thermometer.
Pan Roasted Chicken Breasts are very versatile and are great served with a fresh green salad and these Roasted Potatoes. For an extra special dinner, try my Twice Baked Potatoes and one of these salads: Spring Greens with Pears, Sugared Walnuts & Gorgonzola or Green Salad with Mandarin Oranges & Candied Almonds. Enjoy!
- 6 skin-on split chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
- 2 cloves fresh minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (typically juice of 1 lemon)
- 8 tablespoons salted butter, softened
- Kosher Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper
- Adjust oven rack to middle position; preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- In small bowl, mix ½ teaspoon salt with garlic, thyme, lemon zest, and softened butter until combined.
- Sprinkle underside of chicken breasts liberally with salt and pepper.
- Loosen the skin by inserting two fingers between the skin and the chicken breast meat, creating a small pocket.
- Place about 1 tablespoon of softened butter under the skin, directly on the meat in the center of each split breast.
- Spread butter evenly over breast meat by pressing gently with your fingers.
- Rub skin of each split breast with about 1 teaspoon oil and sprinkle with about ½ teaspoon salt and pepper each.
- Place chicken breasts skin-side up in a large iron skillet, or heavy bottomed pan. (Make sure not to over-crowd the skillet - chicken can be lightly touching, but not crammed together)
- Place pan in the center of the middle rack and roast until thickest part of breast registers 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer, about 30 to 35 minutes.
- When chicken has reached an internal temperature of 160 degrees, remove from oven and tent with foil (making sure not to seal around the sides so as not to steam). Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes, then drizzle with fresh lemon juice. Serve immediately.