Pan-Roasted Chicken Breasts with Lemon Anchovy Aioli

Pan roasting is a simple technique favoured by chefs when cooking meat and poultry because it creates excellent flavours. Thicker cuts work better than thinner ones, but everything from chicken breast to beef filet tastes best when cooked using this method. Sauces are often made in the skillet afterward, as the brown bits at the bottom of the pan create an excellent base.

Because it frees you to do other things while the meat is in the oven, roasting works beautifully in the home kitchen. The chicken dish below is made through this simple method, and I have added an aioli to go alongside it. If you prefer to make a pan sauce, follow the directions below. Serve with sautéed potatoes mixed with Jerusalem artichokes and green beans. The aioli can also be served with fish or vegetables.

 

    Preparation time: 15 minutes

    Ready time: 45 minutes

    Servings: 4

 

Chicken:

2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped

2 teaspoons lemon rind, grated

3 tablespoons olive oil

4 chicken breasts, skin on, on the bone (about 375 grams each)

Salt and cracked black pepper

 

Aioli:

1/2 teaspoon garlic, crushed

1 teaspoon anchovy fillets, minced

2 teaspoons capers

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 teaspoon lemon rind, grated

1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

 

METHOD

Preheat oven to 450 F.

Combine rosemary and lemon rind and 2 tablespoons of oil and rub onto chicken. Season with salt and cracked pepper.

Heat ovenproof skillet on high heat until very hot. Add remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Sear chicken, skin side down first (about 3 minutes per side). Place skillet in oven and bake for 20 to 30 minutes (depending on thickness) or until chicken juices are no longer pink. Remove from skillet and let sit for 5 minutes. You can remove the bone, if desired. (I usually leave it in.)

To make the aioli, combine garlic, anchovies, capers, mayonnaise, lemon rind, lemon juice and parsley while the chicken is cooking. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in oil. Serve a dollop on chicken breasts or on the side.

Note: If you wish to prepare a sauce, add 1/4 cup white wine to the pan and bring to a boil. Add a cup of chicken stock and reduce by half. Finish with 2 tablespoons of cold butter swirled into the sauce.