Pan-roasted Chicken with Rich Mushroom Sauce

This is the dish featured in Episode 2. It comes together in under a half hour and is really quite simple, despite the number of steps. This kind of dish is a good one to memorize as it looks far more impressive than it is, making it suitable for any occasion. It also pairs easily with virtually any side dish.

Yields 2 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 split chicken breast, de-boned
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided (2+1)
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
  • 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms
  • 1½ teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • Handful parsley leaves
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat an oven to 400°F.
  2. An hour before you want to cook the chicken, take it out of the refrigerator. Season both sides liberally with salt and pepper; allow to come up to room temperature. 
  3. Mince the shallots finely; set aside.
  4. Roughly chop the garlic and combine with the thyme leaves; set aside.
  5. With a damp towel, brush any dirt from the tops and undersides of the mushrooms. Remove the stems and chop the caps finely; set aside.
  6. Finely slice the parsley leaves; set aside.
  7. Heat an oven-safe pan over medium-high heat and add the oil. When the oil just begins to smoke, add the chicken breasts, skin side down. Sear until the skin is deeply golden and crisp, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook another 5 minutes.
  8. Reduce heat to medium. Add 2 tablespoons butter and the rosemary sprigs to the pan. Tilt the pan toward you and baste each breast several times, until well covered in butter.
  9. Put the pan in the oven and roast for about 13 to 16 minutes, until the centers of each breast register 150°F. Remove to a plate and cover loosely with foil for about 10 minutes.
  10. Return the pan to the stove over medium heat. You should have about two tablespoons of fat left in the pan — pour off half of it for use in a few minutes. Add the shallots and a pinch of salt; cook until they begin to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and sauté a minute more.
  11. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the mushrooms and another pinch of salt. Sauté, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms begin to brown and look dry, about 5 minutes. Add the reserved tablespoon of fat, reduce the heat to medium, and continue to sauté until deeply brown, another 4 to 6 minutes. Avoid scorching by stirring often.
  12. Add the flour and stir to mix. Cook another minute, then slowly pour in the chicken stock while stirring and scraping up the bottom of the pan. Stirring constantly, cook for a few minutes, until it has thickened.
  13. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter then the parsley, reserving some for garnish. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
  14. When ready to serve, carve the breast bone off of the chicken and slice on a sharp bias, against the grain. Spoon the sauce over and garnish with parsley.