We have all endured—and admittedly prepared—a fair number of less-than-stellar chicken breasts. No more! Café Levain’s Adam Vickerman shares his easy recipe for tender, juicy breast meat surrounded by golden, crispy skin. Vickerman recommends buying locally raised birds and creating the crispiest possible skin by refrigerating the chicken, uncovered, for 24 hours before you plan to serve.
Pan-Roasted Chicken Breasts
2 skin-on, boneless chicken breasts
freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
4 Tbsp. butter
1 lemon, halved and seeded
1 Tbsp. fresh herbs (Italian parsley, chives, thyme, rosemary, or sage), minced
Preheat oven to 425° F.
Using paper towels, pat chicken dry. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Heat a 12-inch skillet (with an ovenproof handle) over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan, and when oil is hot and shimmering, add chicken skin-side down.
Let chicken brown undisturbed until skin turns a light golden brown, about 7 minutes. Leaving chicken skin-side down, add 4 Tbsp. butter and transfer pan to preheated oven.
Roast chicken until exposed flesh is opaque, depending on your oven, about 7 minutes. Turn chicken skin-side up and continue roasting until the meat at its thickest point is firm when pressed, but with a bit of give, another 5 to 7 minutes; remove chicken and place it on a cutting board to rest (chicken will continue cooking a bit during this time).
Squeeze about half of the lemon’s juice into browned butter pan juices; season with salt and pepper to taste (very little is necessary). Add herbs and transfer sauce to a small bowl; keep warm.
To serve, slice chicken breasts in half and top with pan sauce. Pair with roasted fall vegetables.