Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pan-Seared Chicken Breasts

Prep Time: 30 minutes (total including sauce)
Cook Time: 30-40 minutes

Grade: A

Make Again: Yes

Recipe Source: Cook's Illustrated (March 2010)
Recipe Source: The America's Test Kitchen TV Show

I could not have been more bored when I saw this recipe in the Best of 2011 ATK last Spring. It seems like something they have done a lot already. However, I tried it one night when I wanted to use some defrosted boneless chicken breasts.The recipe is a little strange, but fairly simple, and very good!

The chicken if first covered with salt and sort of steamed in a low temp oven covered with foil until chicken reaches 145-150. Then you put a coating on the chicken of butter, flour, and cornstarch and pan-search for a few minutes on each side to finish it off. This keeps the chicken moist but gives it a really delicious coating.

Half of the prep time comes from adding a pan sauce which is is also very tasty. Without that, the recipe would be even less work. I have made this recipe 3 times and each time I cook the sauce too long, and it gets too thick. I need to remember next time to cook it less.

I modify the recipe to use less fat. I use just one t. of oil for cooking the chicken and I replace 1T of the butter for the coating mixture with 1T of chicken broth. That works fine. Just don't make the mixture until you are ready to brush it on. I tried making it early last night, and it got too gloppy and didn't spread well.

I also use just a pat of butter in the final pan suace instead of a full T. and that is fine too. It is still rich.

My picture is not good. I had a nice one from the previous time I made it with some sauce, but lost it when I broke my laptop last month. The chicken isn't always as homely as I made it look last night.

This is a great recipe. The recipe is available on the TV website right now, so make sure you print it out because it will eventually be behind the pay wall. The video is there too, and should be available through the end of 2011, I think.

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