Chicken Breasts That Don’t Suck | Basics with Babish
Hey guys, welcome back to Basics with Babish.
Where this week we’re going to take the first of many looks at chicken.
We’re gonna take a whole bird and break it down into its core components.
And then we’re gonna take a look at one of the most perplexing
pieces of poultry for a new chef in the kitchen: the chicken breast. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard,
“This is dry, this is stringy, this is flavorless.”
We’re gonna solve all those today with a juicy, tender,
flavorful, crispy chicken breast with a rich lemony pan sauce. Let’s get down to basics.
*Basics with Babish intro*
Episode Five: Chicken Breast
So first things first we’re gonna learn how to break down a whole bird.
We’ve got a few key parts to focus on here. We got the wings ,the breasts, the thighs, and the drumsticks.
Let’s start by removing the wings, we’re going to spread the wing wide.
Make an incision along the wide flat flap of skin down to the joint.
Once we get down to the joint, we’re going to break it open like so, so we can see the separation between the two bones.
Run our knife between them and separate the wing from the chicken.
Easy as that, now it’s time to remove the spine using a pair of sharp kitchen shears.
Make cuts along each side of the spine staying, as close to the center of the chicken as you can.
You don’t want to cut Into the thigh, that is going to make the meat separate from the bone.
Now, once we’ve removed the spine,
hang on to it because that’s gonna be good for sauce or stock-making, but that’s another show.
For now, we’re gonna make a small incision down the center of the breastbone so we can crack it open and voila! We have a spatchcock chicken.
This is great for roasting whole, but again, that’s another show. For now, we’re breaking down this chicken
You’re gonna find that it’s very easy to separate the thigh and drumstick from the breasts.
There are no joints or sinew,
And it should be very easy to run your knife along the side of the breast
Separating the thigh from the body of the chicken. Now to separate the breasts into two
We’re simply going to press our knife hard down the center of the breast bone, cutting it into two
airline chicken breasts. This is what we’ll be cooking today, but we’re not quite done yet
We’re going to separate the drumstick from the thigh by cutting down between the two down to the joint, breaking it open
exposing the space between the bones running our knife in between them and
Separating. It really is just as easy as that. In a few simple steps you have converted a whole chicken into
pieces for deep frying, grilling, or in this case,
pan roasting. Chicken breasts tend to confound home cooks. They often end up dry or tough or sporting a nice stringy layer on the outside
But bone-in skin-on chicken breasts like these have protection from those dastardly
detriments. We’re going to place the chicken skin-side down in the hot oiled skillet. The goal here is to get our skin nice and
crispy brown so we can flip and place in a 400 degree fahrenheit oven
to finish. It’s almost like how we reverse sear our steaks,
but in reverse. Attempting to cook these chicken breasts to completion
solely on the stovetop would decimate them. This way, we are crisping up the skin and
Gently coaxing the meat up to a hundred and sixty degrees Fahrenheit
And as you can see we are forming some
beautiful fond in the bottom of our pot, so we’re gonna start, much like the one we did for steak,
but this time with shallots, sherry, chicken stock, and some freshly chopped herbs
I’m going with thyme and sage. Cook this down as usual until it reaches an almost syrupy consistency
I want the liquid almost entirely evaporated at which point, you guessed it,
we’re gonna add a whole bunch of butter. And to cut through all the richness of the wine and the butter, a good squeeze of
fresh lemon juice
Continue to cook over medium heat until the butter is melted and the sauce is thick
Just like that and now it’s time to carve and serve our chicken
I like to cut right underneath the breast between the bone and the meat this is going to serve as our sort of miniature serving
platter. Slice the chicken on the bias into nice little
medallions, making sure to maintain that lovely crisp skin, and plate up right back on top of the bone for easy eating. And of course,
topped with our unctuous pan sauce. This is one of those dishes that kind of reminds you how good chicken can be.
Sometimes you go to a restaurant and you’re blown away because you got the chicken, because you’re trying to be healthy, and it turned out
to be one of the best things you’ve ever eaten. Now, it’s time to try to make it at home. Enjoy
I’ll see you guys next week when we can make this together over at twitch.tv/bingingwithbabish on Thursday, December 14th