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This sauteed chicken is quick and easy. It’s also very gourmet!
Simple Sauteed Chicken: A Basic Recipe
This basic sauteed chicken is awesome just as it is here.
However, this is a very important recipe to have in your arsenal. It’s very easy so you have a meal in about 30 minutes, but the most important thing about this recipe is that it’s the basis for many other skillet chicken dishes.
This is a recipe you build on. It’s one of your fundamentals actually. So many things can be made from this that it’s actually mind boggling. The plus is that even though many dishes are based on this simple recipe, they all taste different and stand on their own.
First Rule Of Sauteeing
The very first thing you need to know for a successful saute–be it chicken or any other meat–is the meat must be patted dry.
If the meat is not dried off, you won’t be browning the meat, you’ll be steaming it.
Now a word about the chicken. In order for this to cook quickly, you have to use smaller chickens or chicken parts. Broilers or fryers are excellent sizes, but be careful using pre-cut parts. Most of the ones I’ve seen in the past few years look like they have come off of some thyroidal monsters. If you can feed two people off a chicken thigh, that’s too large for this recipe to cook in 30 minutes. Seriously, some of the parts sold look as if they came off a turkey.
This is the gourmet part!
Making a reduction is super easy. All you do is boil away some of the liquid. What this does is concentrate the flavor–so be careful with how much salt you use to season the chicken! This is another reason you don’t wipe the pan out after removing the chicken. What’s left on the bottom is full of flavor. I’d also caution to use a low-sodium stock, same reason as before.
If you’d like the sauce to have a bit more body, mix up some beurre manie. That’s just a real fancy name for equal parts of butter and flour mixed together to make a paste. In fact, if you make a lot of gravies and white sauces for mac and cheese, you’ll find it helpful to have some of this in the fridge. So if your sauce recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of flour and 2 tablespoons of butter, then just use 2 tablespoons of your beurre manie.
Simple Sauteed Chicken
- 1 small-medium cut-up chicken about 3-4 lbs
- 1 tsp oil
- 1 tbs butter
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- pinch of any herb you like
- 1 tbs finely chopped onion or green onion
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1/2 cup dry white vermouth or white wine
- 1 tsp beurre manie (optional see note)-OR- 1 tsp butter
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and butter. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels.
- When the butter is melted add the chicken parts skin side down and brown for 5 minutes; turn and brown the other side for 5 minutes.
- Turn the chicken skin side up again, reduce heat to medium, sprinkle with the salt, pepper and the pinch of herb you are using. Cover and simmer for another 5 minutes; turn the chicken, cover and cook an additional 5 minutes.
- Check chicken for doneness. If juice is still pink, cover and cook another 5 minutes.
- Remove chicken from the pan, cover and keep warm. Do not drain or wipe out the pan.
- Keeping the skillet over medium heat, add the onion/green onion. Cook for 1 minute.
- Add the wine/vermouth and scrape up the bits at the bottom (deglazing). Add the stock and boil for about 5 minutes until the sauce is reduced and slightly syrupy.
- If you want a thicker sauce, use the beurre manie. If not, add the butter, stir and pour over the chicken.
Yes Judith, this is a great basic recipe for chicken, but one which every new cook should have in her recipe file. I’ve been cooking for a long time, but I learned something new from you today. I didn’t know that a’ Roux’ is also called ‘Buerre Manie’, so thanks for that info. I’ll casually throw this term in when my son (who’s a Chef) and I are yacking about recipes. I’m sure he’ll be impressed, to say the least. 🙂
Judith Hanneman says
If you really want to impress him, throw terms like “maillard effect,” “mirepoix” and “master recipes” LOL Actually this is a master recipe because so many iterations can be done and they’re all different.
Sam Visser says
Wow, this is a real treat for the chicken lovers like me! Thanks for sharing the recipe.
I’m waiting to taste the sauteed chicken. Making it soon. Thanks for sharing the recipe.