Lemon Thyme Roasted Chicken Breasts with Basil Cream Pan Sauce
June 24, 2009, 2:46 am
Filed under: Food and Recipes, Main Dishes | Tags: , , ,

After scouring the cabinets and attempting to find something to make for dinner tonight, this is what arose from the kitchen. The bone in chicken remained juicy and the pan sauce was so delectable that I wanted to slurp it up with a straw. The measurements are approximations, as they were just thrown together this evening; you can adjust for your tastes. The recipe is a conglomeration of techniques pulled from many other chicken recipes that I’ve made in the past, and, I must say, that if you need a new chicken recipe, this is what should be on your dinner plate tonight.

Lemon Thyme Roasted Chicken Breasts with Basil Cream Pan Sauce

2 split chicken breasts, bone-in and skin-on
1 shallot, sliced thinly
1 garlic clove, sliced thinly
8 oz chicken broth, low sodium please
1/2 cup dry vermouth
1/2 large lemon, or whole small, separated into 3 thin slices and the remaining amount of lemon, unsliced
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
1/4 cup fresh basil chiffonade
1 small glug of heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350

2. On the stovetop, begin to heat an ovenproof skillet on med-high heat. Prepare chicken breasts by patting dry. Season liberally with salt and pepper, making sure to lift skin and rub meat underneath with seasoning as well. Under skin of each chicken breasts, place 2 sprigs of thyme and one slice of lemon. Pull skin back over chicken to cover thyme and lemon. Add approximately 2 tbsp of olive oil to heated pan (you will know it is hot enough if the oil ripples as it hits the bottom of the pan).

3. Place chicken breasts skin side down in the pan. Wait approximately two minutes, or until skin is browned. Flip chicken breasts over and allow to brown for another 2 minutes on the second side. Add 1/2 chicken broth and last lemon slice to the bottom of the pan. Transfer to preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until juices run clear when pierced with a knife at the thickest part.

4. Remove skillet from the oven and move chicken breasts from pan to a plate and allow to rest while assembling the sauce. Pour remaining cooking juices from the bottom of the pan into a bowl, set aside. Place skillet on stovetop, over burner set to med-high heat. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil to the bottom of the pan. To heated oil, add finely sliced shallots, garlic, and 1/2 of basil. Cook until shallots and garlic are golden brown and fragrant.

5. Add vermouth to the skillet and the juice of the remaining lemon. Add remaining lemon rind to pan as well for the flavor from the essential oils in the skin of the lemon. Cook, scraping the browned bits off the bottom of the skillet, until reduced by half. Add reserved cooking liquid and remaining amount of chicken broth to the pan and continue to cook until reduced by half again. Add remaining basil and cream. Remove from heat.

6. Remove chicken from bone, slice on the bias, and top with pan sauce. I served mine atop mashed potatoes and lemon-pepper seasoned steamed broccoli. Enjoy!



2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

yummy! I need to start growing thyme now. (I haven’t actually made it yet.) You think just basil would be good enough or substitute rosemary for thyme. Also do you have any good recipes for tarragon?

Comment by nursesegars

I think rosemary would be a good subsitution. Basil is more delicate and may wilt a good deal under the heat of the oven, whereas thyme and rosemary are more woody and can withstand substantial heat. Barefoot Contessa has a recipe that calls for tarragon called Tarragon Chicken Salad. I’ve never made it, but it sounds delicious.

Comment by adonohoe

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