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PERFECTLY CRISP PAN-SEARED CHICKEN BREASTS RECIPE WITH LEMON & CHIVE SAUCE

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From a tiny BEACH kitchen:

Cooking is often about time.  This is one of those recipes that takes a little bit more time and is totally worth the effort.  A mixture of 3 parts flour to 1 part cornstarch creates a thin, brown, crisp coating that keeps the chicken moist.   The chicken comes out tender on the inside and crisp on the outside.  It tastes better than real chicken skin. 

Do you have a few more minutes?  Then take 5 minutes and make this Lemon and Chive Pan Sauce to pour over the chicken.   Add a green veggie on the side ~ and you are DONE!

Note: An instant read thermometer is key if you do not want to overcook meat.   Without one, you will often  slice into the meat to check for doneness- then the juices run out before they set- leaving the meat dry.   Make a small investment in this kitchen tool.  It will change your world.  Well, you know, not really, but it does have a small WOW factor.  

Ingredients to Pan Sear Chicken:

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts (6 to 8 oz each)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt or 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 TEAspooon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

POKE AND SALT:  Salting chicken seasons the meat and keeps it moist.  Poking thicker parts of the breasts with a fork ensures even seasoning.

COVER AND BAKE: Place chicken in 13 x 9 baking dish and cover tightly with foil.  Bake in a 300 degree oven until instant read thermometer reads 145 degrees.  (30 to 40 minutes)   Baking at low temperature in a foil covered dish cooks the chicken evenly and keeps it from drying out.

Remove chicken from oven and transfer to plate lined with paper towels.  Pat dry with paper towels.  Heat oil in 12″ skillet over medium heat.  While pan is heating, whisk butter, flour, cornstarch, and pepper in a small bowl.  Light brush top of chicken with coating. 

BRUSH ON COATING:  Brushing melted butter, flour and cornstarch onto breasts creates “skin” to protect meat during  searing.

SEAR QUICKLY:  Place chicken in skillet and cook until browned.  3 to 4 minutes. While chicken browns, brush with remaining mixture.   Flip with tongs.  Cook 3-4 minutes until second side is browned and thickest part of chicken registers 160 degrees on instant read thermometer.   Transfer chicken to large plate and let rest 5 minutes.   Prepare sauce……

Lemon and Chive Pan Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 medium shallot, minced (about 3 Tbsp)
  • 1 TEAspoon unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 TBSP juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 TBSP minced fresh chives
  • 1 TBSP unsalted butter, chilled
  • salt and ground pepper

Add shallot to now empty skillet and cook over medium heat until softened- about 2 minutes.  Add flour and cook 30 seconds, stir constantly.  Add broth, increase heat to medium high, bring to simmer, scraping pan bottom to loosen browned bits.   Stir in any accumulated chicken juices from baking pan, simmer 30 seconds.   Turn off heat.  Whisk in lemon juice, chives and butter.  Season with salt and pepper.  Spoon over chicken and serve immediately.  Enjoy!

Adapted from COOK’s, Number 103

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