CT 007| How to Pan Roast a Chicken Breast

Here's a quick video on how to pan roast a chicken breast. In this technique we use an airline chicken breast that is first brined, seared skin side down and finished in a hot oven without ever flipping.

Brine Recipe

  • 1000g Water (100%)
  • 50g Salt, Kosher (5%)
  • 30g Sugar (3%)
  • 1/2 Lemon, Juice Only
  1. Combine all ingredients with a whisk and brine chicken for 12-24 hours.
  2. Rinse chicken under cold, running water and allow to air dry in a refrigerator for another 12-24 hours for best results.
Site Categories
Video Index: 
Featured Techniques: 

There are 10 Comments

Nina's picture

This is the first time that I have had trouble watching one of your videos.  It buffered more than it played, but I stuck with it....

  As an aside, a quick yummy bit to eat along with your pan fried breast is fried sage.  Just remove the breast and throw a few leaves into the fat to crisp up.  

"People who love to eat are always the best people." -- Julia Child

jacob burton's picture

Sorry about the buffering, it must have been something going on with the YouTube servers, I don't know. I love fried sage with chicken; great suggestion for a quick and tasty garnish!

mike T's picture

should I use lower heat on an electric burner?  I made this recipe tonite and it came out pretty good, but I have a few questions. I heated my pan over high, added oil, quickly added the chicken.  Within a minute I had wisps of smoke, and instead of going the 3 minutes it showed in the video I put it into the oven after 2.  It did have light browning on the skin, but some of the sucs had started to burn. 


The oven was at 500F, but I wonder if my chicken wasn't as warm as it should have been because after 10 minutes the chicken was only at about 120F.  In fact it took almost 20 minutes to get the chicken breast to 155F, at the last few minutes there was some smoke coming from the oil-butter mixture it seemed.  The skin was pretty crispy so it was a success that way, but I'm wondering if I should use a cooler pan with electric, or perhaps a cooler oven so it doesn't smoke.


Overall this was a good recipe and I'll definitely be using this for weeknight chicken.



jacob burton's picture

Hi Mike,


Always trust your intuition and the visual cues, just like you did. Since every oven and kitchen environment is different, the best I can do is give approximate times.


Electric burners are actually more efficient at transferring heat to a pan because when on high, it transfers heat through both conduction and radiation. I would still set your burner to high, but maybe pre-heat your pan a little less. Always trust your visual cues over time.


Also, if the breast was only at 120F after 10 minutes in a 500F oven, I would either check your oven calibration or your probe thermometer calibration. Although it is normal for it to take longer then 10 minutes, 20 seems a little long. My pro ovens really aren't that much more efficient then home ovens.


Also, try placing the pan higher up in your oven. The thermal mass at the top of the oven will radiate heat down on the meat side of the breast.


One final note; make sure you use a pan just large enough to fit the chicken breast. This way, the pan will cool and recharge evenly.


Let me know if you have any more questions.





GreenBake's picture

I have electric burners myself. The biggest problem is the heat distribution throughout the pan.


For my burners, it appears that the hottest part of the pan is often at 6 PM (the part of the pan closest to myself). Coolest appears to be at 9 PM (to the left of the pan). With my infrared thermometer, I’ve measured temperature differences as high as 100°F throughout the pan.


Rotating the pan and/or giving the pan a bit of extra time to redistribute the heat may also help. By the way, this appears to be independent of the type of pan, though thicker pans are better in my opinion.

esavitzky's picture

Bought a whole chicken on Sunday and butchered it to prep for three of the techniques you have demonstrated.


Brined the breasts and wings and separated out the thighs and legs.  One breast, along with the wings was used to pan roast along with some wilted spinach and pea tendrils and rice (came out great) and the other went to prep for the roulade (sitting in the fridge now.)


Will use the thighs and legs for the braising recipe.


Pretty versatile and simple techniques.  And three meals for the cost of a bird on sale (~$4)

Mjkrueger's picture

why do you use Rice flour vs regular flour? 

jacob burton's picture

Rice flour gets a little crisper than conventional wheat flour and has a lighter texture. For this reason, I prefer rice flour in this application, but all purpose or bread flour will also work, although the crust won't be as light.

j..weinstein's picture

Hey Jacob, I'm getting those red dots on my chicken breast. You can see them in the above video at minute 3.09. I heard the brine causes them, it draws out the blood. Is that true?

jacob burton's picture

I believe those are blood vessels. I'm not sure if the brine causes them.