101 Cooking For Two - Everyday Recipes for Two: Simple Roast Bone-in Skin-on (Split) Chicken Breast

Friday, January 22, 2010

Simple Roast Bone-in Skin-on (Split) Chicken Breast

Sometime you just want simple. Minimal fuss and muss. I had no specific plans when I to the store to pick up a prescription and get something for dinner. Nothing struck me as the next post or even anything I really wanted to fuss with. I grabbed the 99 cents/lb chicken breasts ($3.34 for three). I was tired of breading things so the skin on would keep it moist. So home to find a recipe that would be simple or just do it myself. The search of CI site lead to a simple recipe. Yes, they do have some. I of course added more garlic but otherwise followed the recipe

(printable recipe)
Tools: Aluminum foil, broiling pan or pan with rack, Pam

3 not too big chicken breast
2 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons non-salt butter
kosher salt
olive oil

1) Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 450 degrees convection. Line the broiling pan or other pan with aluminum foil. Place top on broiler or rack in the pan and coat the devil out of it with Pam. Clean up was easy if you think ahead!
2) Trim up the breasts. Do not remove the rib portion. Just any fat that is easy to remove.
3) Mix 3 tablespoons of non-salt butter at room temp or slightly softened with 3/4 tsp salt and the two cloves garlic crushed. See Note 2 below about salted and non-salted butter.
4) Make a "pocket" between the skin and meat by lifting up the skin near the ribs. Create an one inch opening and then reach in with your finger and expand it to make as large of a pocket as possible while being careful not to create another hole and enough of an edge to keep it intact when you stuff it and bake it.
5) Insert one third of the butter mixture into the pocket and spread with a spoon. Mashing around on the skin also helps.
6) Sprinkle the underside with pepper and kosher salt.
7) Fold the rib section of the breast under and place on the pan. Pull the ribs out enough to propping up breasts on rib bones.
8) Cover each breast with about 1 1/2 tsp olive oil and then gind some pepper on.
9) Place thermometer and set to 180. (see my note below). Should take about 35 minutes depending on breast size and oven.
Notes: I had my thermometer in one of the outside breast on the pan. I also had the thickest breast in the center. While I moved my probe several times, when my wife cut in, it was still a little pink. Not acceptable! I picked 180 but the recipe actually called for 160. That would have been really bad. So lessons learned. Put the thickest breast on the outside position. Probe more than one breast and be sure to include the center one.
In spite of the pink issue, the meat was extremely tender and flavorable in the outside breast. This will be repeated many time in this house.

Note 2: Why would you add salt to unsalted butter? Why not just use salted butter. There are several reasons. 1) Variable amount of salt in butters. 2) Salted butter usually has water hence decreasing fat and flavor. Enough said.

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