This pan-seared chicken breast recipe is sponsored by J.L. Hufford. As always, all opinions are my own.
Elegant and exceptionally flavorful, this Pan-Seared Chicken Breast with Garlic Thyme Cream Sauce is sure to impress.
It is time for an altar call folks! Where are all of my cast iron cookware lovers? Raise your hands! I admit I am mildly obsessed with cast iron. It is durable, sears great, and relatively non-stick - it is quite simply an all-purpose kitchen workhorse! I love it so much, upgrading to a well machined high-end cast iron skillet has been on my wishlist for a while now.
Well, I found what I was looking for, and it exceeded my expectations. I recently received an ICON 10" Skillet by J.L. Hufford and it is everything I love about cast iron and more. This skillet as simply outperformed my cast iron in every test.
First of all, this is not a traditional cast iron skillet, there are quite a few improvements that would make your great-grandmother green with envy! ICON skillets are 98% iron, yet 30% lighter than traditional cast iron. You can really feel the difference. Yet, it is machined to a smooth polish, so I found it to be exceptionally non-stick the very first time I used it.
Like cast iron, the ICON skillets are still all-purpose workhorses - Induction friendly, won't scratch glass top ranges, and oven safe up to 800 degrees, these durable skillets can even go in the dishwasher. Good luck doing that with cast iron! I'm not the only one who thinks these things are great, check out the reviews of ICON skillets on Amazon.
Also, since the pan is lighter than traditional cast iron skillets, it heats up quickly, making it perfect for searing meats like these pan-seared chicken breasts.
Pan-Seared Chicken Breasts
I pan-sear chicken breasts on medium-high heat. It is plenty hot enough to brown the chicken, but not instantly burn it. You can pan-sear skinless chicken breasts, but you are missing out on a lot of flavor if you don't use chicken breasts with the skin still on. The chicken skin will sear to a delectable crisp in the skillet and then crisp further while the chicken breast roasts in the oven.
Since this recipe utilizes the cooktop and the oven it is important to use an oven-safe skillet like ICON skillets. In a pinch you could place the chicken on a jelly roll pan, but why dirty more dishes? Plus, your sauce will have more flavor if you use the same pan for everything.
Garlic Thyme Cream Sauce
People are often intimidated to make sauces, but they shouldn't be. This garlic thyme cream sauce is prepared once the chicken is done cooking. After the chicken is removed from the oven, take the chicken out of the pan and let it rest. The skillet is set back on the stove top over medium heat and garlic is added to saute until fragrant. Then add chicken broth to release any burnt on bits in the pan and simmer until the liquid has reduced in half.
Heavy cream is what gives this sauce its luxurious mouthfeel. It simply needs to simmer in the skillet with sprigs of thyme until it thickens. Don't worry if it looks thin initially, it will thicken as it cooks. Then to finish off the sauce, I like adding a bit of butter to make it extra silky.
What to Serve with Pan-Seared Chicken Breasts
Serve this pan-seared chicken breast recipe with your favorite vegetables such as parmesan green beans, and roasted potatoes. However, you can certainly serve oven roasted sweet potatoes instead. Herb stuffing would be a great pairing as well since you could drizzle extra cream sauce over your stuffing.
Pan-Seared Chicken Breast with Garlic Thyme Cream Sauce
- 2 Skin on Chicken Breasts (Thighs can be substituted)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon Cooking Oil
- ½ cup Chicken Broth
- 1 clove Garlic (minced)
- 1 cup Heavy Cream
- 2 sprigs fresh Thyme
- 1 squeeze Lemon slice
- 2 tablespoons Butter
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- If your chicken breasts come attached to the ribs, trim off bones so only meat and skin remain.
- Sprinkle chicken breast lightly with salt and pepper.
- Heat 10" oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil.
- Place chicken in skillet skin side down and sear until the skin is brown and crispy, but not burnt.
- Flip chicken skin side up and place in a 400-degree oven until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Approximately 20 minutes depending on thickness.
- Remove chicken from skillet, reserving fat in the pan, and let the chicken rest while creating the sauce.
- Add minced garlic to the skillet and cook over medium heat until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
- Pour chicken broth into the skillet and deglaze the bottom of the pan, simmer until reduced in half.
- Add heavy cream and thyme sprigs and continue to simmer and whisk until the sauce has thickened, approximately 5 minutes. Taste for salt and add butter and a squeeze of lemon. Stir butter as it melts to incorporate into the sauce.
- Serve chicken breasts on a plate and spoon over cream sauce to taste.
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