I love pan-roasting chicken breasts because searing it first in a skillet gives it a wonderful, crispy skin and finishing the cooking in the oven makes the meat wonderfully moist and tender. The accompanying pan sauce is easy to make and the Dijon mustard is perfectly complemented by the tangy cider vinegar and sweet brown sugar. And the addition of crispy pancetta sprinkled on top adds a delightful crunch. —Sonali aka the Foodie Physician
pancetta, small diced
boneless chicken breasts, skin on
kosher salt, plus more as needed
freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
Heat the olive oil in a large oven-safe skillet or cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add the pancetta and cook until browned and crispy. Remove from skillet and drain on paper towels.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Add the chicken breasts skin side down to the drippings in the hot skillet. Cook 2 to 3 minutes until skin is golden brown, then transfer the skillet to the oven. Cook in oven 15 to 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165° F. Turn the chicken breasts halfway through cooking. Remove skillet from oven and place chicken breasts on a plate. Cover with foil to keep warm.
Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of drippings from the skillet. Heat the skillet on the stove over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook 1-2 minutes until translucent. Stir in the Dijon mustard and cider vinegar and cook until vinegar is reduced. Raise the heat and whisk in the chicken stock and brown sugar. Cook 3 to 4 minutes until sauce thickens. Taste and season with salt and black pepper to taste.
To serve, plate the chicken breasts and pour the pan sauce on top. Sprinkle the crispy pancetta over the top. Serve warm.