Quick Sear-Roasted Chicken

It’s a weeknight, you don’t have much time yet want to serve something healthy that everyone (or maybe just you) will enjoy. This Sear-Roasted Chicken with Tomato and Red Wine Sauce recipe fits the bill. Paired with some steamed broccolini, this dinner is low-calorie, low-carb and gluten-free.

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When you sear-roast chicken breasts you get perfect browning and even doneness. It’s a simple restaurant technique you can do at home with great results. Here’s a tip to get the most out of this dish: Be sure that the oven has reached 425°F before starting to sear—most ovens take 20 to 30 minutes to heat up thoroughly. And ours is no exception.

For a quick sauce, it had a wonderful depth of flavor. If, like us, you like things spicy, make that “pinch” of red pepper flakes a healthy one!

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Ingredients

For the Chicken:
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1-1/2 lb. total)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil, canola oil, or peanut oil
For the Tomato and Red Wine Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 14-1/2-oz. can diced tomatoes (preferably “petite-cut”), with their juices
  • 2 Tbs. loosely packed chopped fresh oregano
  • Pinch crushed red chile flakes
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

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Pan-sear a couple of minutes on each side in a hot skillet.

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Our chicken breasts came to temperature after 10 minutes in the oven.

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Pour off any excess fat from the skillet. Return the pan to high heat and add the red wine.

Directions

Sear-roast the chicken:
  1. Heat the oven to 425°F. Turn the exhaust fan on to high. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Season both sides generously with salt and pepper (about 1 tsp. of each total). Heat a 12-inch heavy-based ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until a droplet of water vaporizes in 1 or 2 seconds, about 1 min. (If the water skitters around the pan and doesn’t evaporate, the pan is too hot; take it off the heat for about 30 seconds to cool.)
  2. Add the oil, swirl it around the pan, and then evenly space the chicken in the pan. Cook without touching for 2 min. Using tongs, lift a corner of the chicken, check that it’s both well browned and easily releases from the pan, and flip it over. (If it sticks or isn’t well browned, cook for 1 to 2 more min. before flipping.) Cook the second side for 1 min. and then transfer the skillet to the oven.
  3. Roast until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F and is firm to the touch, about 5 to 8 min. Using potholders, carefully remove the pan from the oven, transfer the chicken to a large plate, tent with foil, and let it rest while you prepare the sauce in the same skillet.
Prepare the pan sauce:
  1. Pour off any excess fat from the skillet. Return the pan to high heat and add the red wine. Cook, scraping the pan with a wooden spoon to incorporate any browned bits, until the wine is reduced to a glazy film.
  2. Add the tomatoes with their juices and the red chile flakes; cook until the juices reduce to a saucy consistency, about 3 min.
  3. Stir in the oregano and Parmigiano; season generously with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately spooned over the sear-roasted chicken.

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Without wiping out the pan, add the tomatoes with their juices and the red chile flakes.

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Once the tomatoes are reduced to a saucy consistency, stir in the oregano and Parmigiano.

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Serve immediately spooned after the sauce is over the sear-roasted chicken.

By Tony Rosenfeld from Fine Cooking

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