When you think chicken breasts, do you think tasteless, dried out meat that needs, if not begs, to be smothered in sauce? I’m a totally a leg girl. Pass me the dark meat. I find it so much more flavourful, forgiving to cook, and cheaper. So basically winning on all counts in my books.
But every once in a while, I cook chicken breasts again, and it’s almost always fried in some way. There’s something amazing that happens when you pan sear the meat and finish cooking in the oven that just traps in the juices. I remember making this for D and he couldn’t believe how moist it was. He said it was as good as restaurant chicken, which is a massive compliment coming from a foodie who eats out at fancy restaurants often enough to know.
Valentine’s day is around the corner (next week fellas!) and as a general rule, I like to avoid restaurants on this day. They tend to be super crowded, over-priced, and the service is almost always sub-par. Instead, we make dinner and pop a bottle of wine at home. If you plan to do the same, I recommend this chicken dish for a few reasons:
- Making something with love is actually pretty sweet
- It’s elegant yet casual, if that’s your thing, especially if your roast some rainbow carrots as a side
- Fried rosemary leaves are awesome
I’ve used boneless, skin-on chicken breasts, sometimes called supremes, for this recipe. My butcher shop likes to leave a little bone in there for aesthetics. To prepare, I just laid the breast between two pieces of plastic wrap and hammered it with the flat side of a meat mallet until fairly evenly thick (about 3/4″ or so). You can also use the bottom of a frying pan or the flat side of a wine bottle. It’s great for getting out any aggression too.
I seasoned the meat with garlic powder, mustard powder, salt, and pepper, but you can really play around with whatever spices you like best. Next, it’s pan-fried, then baked. There are a few steps, albeit simple and easy ones, but it’s totally worth it.
Pan Roasted Chicken
- 2 boneless skin-on chicken breasts (preferably organic)
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 tsp mustard powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Canola or sunflower oil for frying
- 3 to 4 fresh rosemary sprigs
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Pat chicken very dry with paper towel. Lay chicken breast between two large pieces of plastic wrap on a flat work surface. Using a mallot or flat bottom of a frying pan, pound chicken breast until it's fairly even in thickness, about 3/4 inch thick. Repeat with second chicken breast.
- In a deep sided dish, mix together cornstarch, mustard powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Lay chicken breasts into cornstarch mixture and coat both sides. Shake off any excess powder.
- Heat a large skillet or cast iron pan on medium-high. Add about 3 tablespoons of oil so there is a thin layer on pan. Lay chicken breasts in pan and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes each side.
- Place chicken on a baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Fry rosemary leaves in leftover oil until crisp and golden brown and serve with chicken.