- Prep time 10 minutes
- Cook time 30 minutes
- Serves 4
I can’t think of a more tried-and-true dish than a one-skillet chicken dinner. Inspired by a dish my mom used to make, this recipe is quick enough to whip up any night of the week and impressive enough to serve for a big family dinner.
As a kid, my mom often prepared her weeknight chicken in the slow cooker. Her version was simple: a can of cream of chicken soup, a package of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, and a big glug of dry vermouth. This trusty trio was then dumped into a slow cooker and braised all day until the chicken was tender and the sauce was decadently thick. She’d serve this dish with mashed potatoes and steamed greens beans or over top some egg noodles with lots of freshly chopped chives from her herb garden.
For me, the problem with a slow cooker is that it requires proper planning, which I often fall short of. My version skips the slow cooker in favor of a big skillet. After they’re seared, the chicken breasts are removed and shallot and garlic are added to the pan. The combination of the brown bits left behind from the chicken and the fresh aromatics stand in for the flavor of the cream of chicken soup. After the pan is deglazed with dry vermouth, a big helping of heavy cream fills the pan. The chicken is added back into the cream sauce and cooked over a very low, very slow simmer resulting in the juiciest, most tender chicken breast I’ve ever eaten. To finish the sauce, I whisk in a spoonful of Dijon mustard, which does two things: It thickens the sauce in a jiffy and provides a touch of acidity to cut through the richness of the dish. —Grant Melton
Test Kitchen Notes
This recipe is shared in partnership with Pinterest as part of their Golden Recipe Contest, a call for recipes treasured by your family or community. To enter, submit your recipe by August 15. —The Editors
(6- to 8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
shallot, finely chopped
cloves garlic, finely chopped
Lemon wedges, for serving
Egg noodles, for serving
- Pat the chicken breasts dry. Season liberally on both sides with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Place a large stainless steel or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter and olive oil. Swirl around the pan until the butter is melted and hot. Add the chicken breasts and sear until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Flip to cook the other side, about 4 minutes longer. (Note: If the chicken breasts are too large to fit in the pan, do this step two at a time. You want to leave enough room so the chicken browns nicely!)
- Transfer the seared chicken breasts to a plate (they won’t be fully cooked yet). Immediately add the shallot and garlic and cook, stirring constantly to avoid burning the garlic, for about 1 minute. Add the vermouth to deglaze the pan. Using the back of a wooden spoon, scrape up any brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Once the vermouth has come to a bubble, add the heavy cream. Stir to combine and then nestle the chicken breasts back into the pan along with any juices that may have gathered on the plate while resting. Bring the mixture to a simmer and then turn the heat to medium low. Let the chicken cook in the slowly simmering cream sauce, occasionally scraping the sauce down the sides using a spatula or wooden spoon, and flipping every few minutes to ensure the chicken cooks evenly. Cook until an instant read thermometer registers at 165°F in the thickest part of the breast, about 17 to 20 minutes.
- When the chicken is cooked, remove from the pan and turn the heat to medium-high. Whisk the Dijon mustard into the sauce and cook for two minutes to thicken. It should look like a thick gravy.
- To serve, place the chicken into a shallow serving dish over top cooked egg noodles. Pour the sauce over top and garnish with chives. Serve with lemon wedges.