Saturday, April 28, 2012

Pan Roasted Free Range Chicken With Lemon & Sage

4 free range chicken breast halves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
1.5 tablespoon butter
Sea salt
Black pepper

Serves 4 to 6

This recipe is about as simple as it gets, and it's the rare recipe that I made up on the fly that didn't need any tweaking the second time around. They key is having good quality free range chicken and fresh herbs. I prefer to buy whole free range chickens and quarter them myself. When I quarter them, I debone the breast, but I leave a small portion of wing bone attached to it. This gives you the benefit of still being able to effectively brown both sides of the breast while getting some added flavor to the dish from the bone, but you could certainly make it with a fully boneless breast.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle sea salt and pepper on the chicken breasts while you heat the olive oil over medium high heat on a oven safe skillet, preferably cast iron. Once the oil is heated, place the breasts in the pan skin side down. Let the breasts cook until they easily release from the pan - about 6 minutes. If they don't release, they are not ready to turn. Once they release, flip the breasts in the pan and sauté for 3 minutes. Drain all but about 1 tbs of liquid from the pan and then roast in oven until chicken is cooked through - about 8 minutes. Return the skillet to the stove top over low heat. Squeeze lemon juice evenly throughout the pan and sprinkle sage throughout the pan. Add butter and melt and then spoon the liquid all over the breasts.

Remove the chicken to a cutting board and slice crosswise. Plate the slices and spoon a little bit of the sauce over the slices and serve. I served this with roasted asparagus and a Parmesan couscous and it was delicious. This dish will pair well with many whites and especially well with something with medium body and nice but not overwhelming acidity.

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