What is pan-roasted chicken?
Pan-roasting any cut of meat (especially chicken breasts) is a great way to get beautiful slightly brown and crispy outer shells with juicy and tender meat inside. It’s a relatively simple and easy method of cooking but takes some good judgment and culinary finesse to get it right.
The first step in this process is to fry your meat in a good frying pan (in this case, chicken breasts, legs and wings). These pieces of chicken will then cook in the pan for about 5-8 minutes on each side or until beautifully golden brown on each side. Since this particular cut of meat is thick and therefore difficult to cook through via frying in a pan, the chicken is then placed in a hot oven to continue cooking for a short time.
What you get in the end is a delicious sear on the outside and succulent chicken meat on the inside. In order to really perfect your pan-roasting technique, you need to know your meat. If you can’t tell if a chicken breast is down by pressing down on it, then invest in a good meat thermometer until you learn. For chicken, aim to reach an internal temperature of 75 C / 165 F.
What is a Forestière sauce?
I first fell in love with this chicken recipe when I went out to eat at a little French bistro for lunch. I ordered a nice little dish of roast chicken breast with forestière sauce. What is forestière sauce, you might ask? The answer is simple, it’s a delightful mushroom sauce made from forest mushrooms and beautiful French cream.
Now, if you are in France and indulging in this creamy mushroom sauce it is FANTASTIC. This is because the forest mushrooms in France are oh so flavorful and the cream used in France is famously delicious. However, this mushroom sauce can be difficult to pull off in other parts of the world with less than perfect ingredients.
Being as a love a good creamy mushroom sauce, I decided to try my hand at making my own similar version of a forest mushroom sauce. Instead of hand-picked wild forest mushrooms, I made do with chestnut mushrooms. Instead of drowning those sauteed mushrooms in that heavenly French cream, I compromised by adding 3 spoonfuls of sour cream at the end.
Why use sour cream instead of heavy cream in this sauce? The answer is simple, the sour cream gives it a bit of tang that pairs well with all of the elements. So, if you are like me and not really into a heavy cream sauce, just add a dollop or two of sour cream to your sauce at the end then season with salt and pepper. Voilà, a tasty cream sauce is made!
Despite all the substitutions and compromises, this cream sauce turned out to be quite a delectable little concoction, especially when spooned over juicy pan-roasted chicken breasts.
Why you should always prep your chicken ahead of time.
Ever had dry and flavorless chicken breast? You know, the kind of meat that despite soaking up all the rich cream sauce tastes and chews like cardboard? Well, there’s a simple solution to your dull and bland chicken breast other than salt and pepper-treat it ahead of time with a marinade, dry brine, or wet brine.
You can do this overnight or even an hour or so ahead of time. What you get in return is seasoned and juicy chicken each and every time. Goodbye, boring ho-hum bits of chicken.
For this chicken recipe, I do just a basic dry rub of salt and sugar to lightly cure the meat. If you would like to spice things up a bit, you can always add a teaspoon of paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, or a combination of all three.
I guarantee you, this small little step of prepping the chicken ahead of time will produce some of the best chicken you have ever cooked. So, make sure to marinade and brine that chicken!
Pan-Roasted Chicken with Sour Cream Mushroom Sauce
- Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
- Yield: Serves 3-4 1x
Tips and tricks for how to make the juiciest pan-roasted chicken which is best served with a generous helping of delicious sour cream mushroom sauce. #chicken #sourcream # sauce #mushrooms #panroasted
1 whole chicken or 4 large chicken breasts with the skin on
1 tsp of sea salt
1 tsp of sugar
1 tbsp of butter
6–8 chestnut mushrooms (sliced)
2 shallots (finely chopped)
3 cloves of garlic (finely minced)
1 tbsp of flour
240 ml (8 oz) of chicken broth
120 ml (4 oz) of white wine
a pinch of fresh thyme sprigs
3 tbsp of sour cream
- Mix salt and sugar together in a small bowl until well combined.
- Using a sharp knife, break down the chicken by cutting it into 6 pieces ( 2 chicken breasts, 2 legs with thighs attached, and 2 wings). Wrap up the chicken carcass and put it in the freezer. You can use this carcass later to make chicken stock. If you are using chicken breasts, omit this step.
- Lightly sprinkle the salt and sugar combination over the chicken pieces. Make sure to evenly coat the chicken on both sides. Place on a plate lined with paper towels, cover it, and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. When ready to cook, remove chicken from the fridge and allow it to warm up to room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 220 C / 450 F or 200 C /400 F with a fan.
- In a large frying pan, add 1 tbsp of butter and let cook until melted over medium-high heat. Place chicken pieces skin side down into the pan and fry on medium-high heat until slightly browned on both sides. This should usually take 5-8 minutes on each side.
- Remove browned pieces of chicken and place them in an oven-proof tray. Roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 75 C / 165 F (make sure you invest in a good meat thermometer).
- While chicken is roasting in the oven, work on the creamy mushroom sauce. Over medium heat, add diced shallots and saute until softened and transparent If the pan is a little dry, feel free to add another 1 tbsp of butter to the pan.
- Once shallots are soft, add the sliced mushrooms and cook until dark brown.
- Add 1 tbsp of flour and stir into the softened shallots. Let cook for a minute or two. Slowly add chicken broth, stirring as you go until sauce is smooth and there are no more lumps. Add white wine, thyme sprigs, and finely minced garlic.
- Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, reduce heat to low or whatever produces a slow simmer. Let simmer for 8-10 minutes.
- Next, add 3 tbsps of sour cream and stir together. Bring to a simmer and let simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste then turn off the heat and serve. Drizzle the creamy mushroom sauce over the pan-roasted chicken and enjoy!
- Prep Time: 2 hours
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Main, Chicken
- Method: Pan-roasting, simmering
- Cuisine: Western
Keywords: chicken, pan-roasted chicken, mushroom sauce, mushrooms, forestiere sauce, sour cream, white wine, thyme, garlic, shallots