Thursday, June 15, 2006

Beyond the Basics: Chicken

Okay, everyone loves chicken, but it can get boring, right? Well, this is my answer to boring chicken.
2 quarts water
1 cup salt
2-4 bone-in skin-on chicken breasts
pepper to taste

I know, doesn't look like much, does it?

Dissolve the salt in the water. Put the chicken in the water, and refrigerate for 30'-1 hour. If you want to do longer, that is fine, but cut down on the salt in the brine by about half (if you're going to do over 2 hours). Rinse the chicken with fresh water, pat dry, and season with pepper.

Preheat the oven to 450.

Heat an oven-safe skillet with a small amount of oil over high heat. When the pan is screaming hot, place the chicken skin side down in the skillet. Cook for 5', until chicken is brown. Turn the chicken over and brown the other side, about 4'. Turn the chicken skin side down again, and slide the pan into the oven. Cook for 18-22 minutes. It's easiest to slide a remote meat thermometer in and set it to go off when the chicken hits 160. Let the chicken rest for 10'. While it is resting, you can cook some shallots (or whatever you like in gravy) in the pan juice, add some flour and some chicken stock, and make a quick gravy. I usually serve this with just crusty rolls and some salad, anything green.

This is really simple and adaptable, and turns out an incrediably moist and crispy chicken. You can serve it with almost any side dish you like. Plus, bone-in skin-on breasts are very cheap! As a note of warning, this recipe turns out more smoke than I've ever seen--everytime, with every pan I use. So be prepared to open some windows and turn off the smoke detector. But oh so yummy!


Caroline said...

I'm intrigued. I think this may become dinner one night this weekend!

I love bone in chicken breasts just because of how flavorful they are. My husband doesn't "like" them because he is too lazy to cut the meat off the bone!

Jackie said...

That sounds tasty, but I have to admit I'm a little scared by the smoke thing!

KrisM said...

The smoke isn't so bad. I guess it's just the high heat of the oil. As long as you're prepared and have the windows open (maybe a fan if you kitchen is far from the windows like mine is) you will be fine. And the taste will make you happy, I promise!