Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Actually Good Chicken Breast

Chicken breast usually sucks. Once you take it off the bone and remove the skin, you're basically looking at protein-rich sawdust unless you brine and deep-fry it. But chez Bake and Baste, plain ole roasted chicken breast is one of our favorite meals. We keep the skin on and slowly roast the meat on the bone to keep it moist, which makes it the perfect chicken for tacos or a salad—that is, if you don't just eat all the meat with your fingers straight off the cutting board

You need a meat thermometer here; no guesswork allowed with this much juiciness at stake. You can get a perfectly adequate meat thermometer for under 10 dollars, and it's so handy to have around that it easily justifies the cost. 

Before putting the chicken in the oven, we start with the cold pan technique to slowly render the fat from under the skin, gently crisping it to the point where it will literally crunch under your knife as you slice the meat.

Actually Good Chicken Breast

Cooking Time
45 minutes


2 breast friends

Nonstick skillet (must be oven-safe up to 300 degrees)
Spatula or tongs
Scissors or poultry shears
Meat thermometer
Chef's knife or slicing knife and cutting board

2 split bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
Kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon canola oil

1. Heat oven to 300 degrees.

2. Trim excess skin, fat, and rib bones from chicken breasts. Gently loosen skin from flesh with your fingers, being very careful not to tear skin. Salt chicken under skin, over skin, and on flesh side.

3. Spread oil all over pan with wadded-up paper towels or a clump of plastic wrap. Arrange chicken skin side-down in pan and place over medium-low heat. Cook until skin is light golden in color and releases from pan (gently lift chicken to check), 8 to 10 minutes. Increase heat to medium and cook until skin is well-browned and crispy, 2 to 3 minutes.

4. Transfer pan to oven and roast for 20 minutes. Flip chicken skin side-up, return pan to oven, and roast until chicken registers an internal temperature of 145 degrees, about 8 to 10 minutes.

5. Let chicken rest skin side-up on a plate for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, heat pan over medium high to boil away rendered liquid and heat fat. Place chicken skin side-down in pan and cook until skin is very well-browned and crisp, about 2 minutes. Remove from pan, slice, and serve immediately, garnished with whatever you like.

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