CHICKEN BREAST, rubbed with spices and pan-seared


Have you ever noticed how a half breast of chicken looks a little like the side view of your hand held flat; that is, the area of the palm of the hand is wider than the area of the fingers. As such you must know you are challenged to cook both the thick profile and the thin profile to a nice juicy doneness. If you cook the thick part to done temperature of 165ºF the thin part will be over cooked. If you take it out when the thin side is cooked, the thick side is still raw. So there are a couple ways you could proceed.

Of course, the raw boneless chicken breast may be pounded with a meat mallet to even out the thickness of the breast. However that is usually done without bones and skin, where one sacrifices much of the flavor and as well, the skin helps keep the meat moist. So what to do.

We have decided to cook bone in and skin on, in high heat for the first 30 seconds to activate the essential oils in the spice rub and then turn it down to medium for 1 1/2 minutes before turning over in the pan and placing into the oven to finish the cooking. Then remove the chicken from the oven when the thick part of the breast is 150, 155 ºF.  Place a cover over the pan for just 60 seconds to assist carry over cooking to desired temperature of 160-165 ºF.

Place breast onto a cutting board, cut small thin end off about 1 inch; cool and hold for secondary use. Make three more cuts into the rest of the breast, which will help distribute the seasoning throughout the meat as you slice. Reform and serve immediately.

NOTE: If your seasoning blend gets over dark, try reducing heat or time in pan. The reserved end pieces are delicious when used in a dressed chicken salad next day.


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