Quite possibly one of my husband’s favorite ways I make chicken, this adaptation from Cook’s Illustrated is slightly involved, but the effort is well worth the flavor imparted on usually pretty flavor-less chicken breasts. Make this entree for company or for a normal weeknight meal and buy similarly sized chicken breasts for best results.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
1-2 tsp. kosher salt
1 Tbl. vegetable oil
2 Tbl unsalted butter or df margarine, melted
1 Tbl. Better Batter gluten free flour
1 tsp. cornstarch or arrow root powder
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 recipe of Lemon and Parsley pan sauce, below
Heat oven to 275 degrees. Using fork, poke the thicker park of each chicken breast 5-6 times and evenly sprinkle each piece of chicken with up to 1/2 tsp. of kosher salt (I do not use this much, but do liberally sprinkle them with approx. 1/4 tsp salt each). Place chicken, skinned side down, in a 13×9 baking dish and cover tightly with foil. Bake until thickest part of the breast registers 145 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 30-40 minutes. (Note: sometimes I don’t have that much time, I have found smaller chicken breasts cook well at 350 degrees uncovered for approx 20 minutes, but often I use the lower and slower method and the meat is very juicy and tender.)
Remove the chicken from the oven and transfer skinned side up to a paper towel-lined plate and pat dry with paper towels. Heat oil in a 12-in skillet over medium-high heat until almost smoking. While the pan is heating, mix together the melted butter, flour, cornstarch, and pepper in a small bowl. Lightly brush the top side of the chicken breasts with the butter mixture and then place into the skillet, coated side down. Cook until browned, about 3-4 minutes. Brush the remaining butter mixture while the first side browns. Using tongs, flip the chicken, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the second side is browned, about 3-4 more minutes. Transfer chicken to a large plate and let it rest while preparing the pan sauce (if not making the pan sauce, let the chicken rest 5 minutes before serving).
Lemon and Parsley Pan Sauce
1 medium shallot, minced (about 3 Tbl)
1 tsp. Better Batter gluten free flour
1 c. chicken broth
1 Tbl. fresh juice from one lemon
1 Tbl. minced fresh parsley (or fresh chives)
1 Tbl. unsalted butter or df margarine, chilled
Salt and pepper to taste
Add shallot to now empty skillet and cook over medium heat until softened, about 2 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly. Add chicken broth and bring to a simmer, scraping bottom of pan to loosen the browned bits. Simmer rapidly and reduce sauce to approx 3/4 cup, about 3-5 minutes. Add in juice from resting chicken and stir. Remove pan sauce from heat and whisk in lemon juice, parsley, and butter. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon some over chicken and serve immediately.
Note: Four chicken breasts are not enough to feed my family, so I often make 6-8, depending on size. I usually double the amounts for the butter mixture above, but nothing else. There is plenty of pan sauce to go around, so serve it at the table next to the chicken.