Crispy Skinned Chicken Breast with Herb Sauce

I don’t mean to toot my own horn or anything, but DANG this is good chicken, and I am very proud of this recipe, because it’s one that plays with technique rather than ingredients to create incredible flavor.  To be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of chicken.  It’s not that I don’t like it, it’s just there is so much BAD chicken out there. Dry rubbery chicken is in my nightmares.  Fortunately, this chicken is nothing like that.  The skin is unbelievably crispy, and because we cook it on the bone and the skin bastes the chicken, it is unbelievably juicy and moist.  And what’s even better is split chicken breasts ran me $1.89/pound instead of the $4/pound for boneless skinless chicken breast.  Pretty awesome given that I WANT the skin and bone! Now, you will notice that I don’t rub the skin with olive oil.  I have concluded that rubbing the skin with olive oil makes it less crispy (more on this below).  In my test, the unrubbed chicken skin browned MUCH better.  Doesn’t make sense, right?  No, but it does.  Adding olive oil adds another layer of fat to the chicken skin, and acts as a barrier.  Don’t even bother with that stuff.  Just let the roasting technique work its magic, and you will have the crispiest skinned juicy chicken ever.  Here’s how:

2 pounds split chicken breasts (this means the skin is still on and it’s still on the bone).  I had two chicken breasts.
plenty of sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.

Set a wire cooling rack on top of a baking sheet, and lay your chicken breasts on the rack.  Season the chicken breasts with plenty of salt and pepper (add more than you think you will need…I put about 1/4 tsp of salt on each breast).  The salt not only seasons the chicken but will help draw moisture out of the skin, making it EXTRA CRISPYYYYYYY!

Roast the chicken for 30-35 minutes (depending on the size of the breasts) until the interior reaches 155-160 degrees F on an instant read thermometer.  Turn the broiler on to high, and broil the skin for 2 minutes and make sure you don’t take your eyes away from it (it can burn very quickly).  I like to keep the chicken in the center of the oven when broiling so I can watch.  Now, the chicken on the left is the one I rubbed with olive oil, and the one on the right is uncoated skin.  If you look closely, you can see the skin on the right crisped and puffed up a lot more.  Also look at the color difference.

Now on to the sauce.  This is a quick and easy sauce, and it’s SO DARNED GOOD.
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tbsp chopped fresh herb of choice (oregano, tarragon, etc)

Before we get into the sauce, I want to show you something.  This recipe calls for 1 cup of chicken stock.  A lot of people (and I’ve seen certain celebrity chefs on Food Network do this…but I won’t name names) use chicken broth when they say chicken stock.  They are TOTALLY different and should not be used interchangeably.  I bought both so I could show you the difference, because I think the picture says everything:
(I removed the picture temporarily until I can crop the brand names out.  Evidently I can get sued?)
Chicken broth, a clearish yellow color, not much flavor.  Chicken stock, very deep rich brown, and tons of flavor.  The chicken stock also has a TON less salt, which is important for a sauce like this because it will be reduced down a lot.  Make sure you look for chicken stock, not chicken broth.

Okay, sauce time.  In a large skillet, combine the stock, wine, and orange juice and reduce on high heat for about 10 minutes, until reduced to a thick consistency.  When you are ready to take your sauce off the heat, throw the herbs in, and serve it below your chicken (don’t pour on top of your chicken or else you’ll soak the crispy skin)!  Enjoy!!!

I’m so excited for you all to try this recipe!  Let me know how it goes.  It’s soooo goooooood. Have a great weekend and thanks for reading!

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9 Responses to Crispy Skinned Chicken Breast with Herb Sauce

  1. Jess says:

    Mmm, this looks delicious. I really appreciate you showing the difference between chicken broth and chicken stock, because the difference is really paramount! That sauce you made for the crispy chicken sounds like the perfect accompaniment, too.

    • Thank you Jess! Yes, I think the picture is great too! It always bugs me when I’m watching food network and they’re like “add some chicken stock” and they are using chicken broth! Not the same! You can see how different they are!

  2. Laura says:

    Joanne, this looks amazing. As does everything else on this site! I am so impressed, not only by your skills, but also by your decision to follow your dreams and not get sucked into a job that would keep you unhappy. Way to go, girl!! Hope you’re doing great.

  3. Margie says:

    Simple & elegant! I sometimes get a little overzealous with the olive oil. Thanks for the tip. The sauce sounds fab.

    • Oh believe me, I LOVE olive oil too…a while ago when I was asked what my fav ingredient is, I said olive oil (though now I would have to change that to eggs). But it really doesn’t brown as well with it!

  4. vmacaraig says:

    Great experiment with that chicken. And thanks for pointing out the difference between chicken broth and stock. Do you have a recipe for chicken stock?

  5. Kate says:

    Made this! SO DELICIOUS! And thank you, thank you for your rant about the difference between stock and broth…my pet peeve too! Such a huge difference and I too have seen FoodNet celebs use them interchangeably…again, sooo yummy!

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