Fifteen Spatulas

Crispy Skinned Chicken Breast with Herb Sauce

Here’s why cooking split chicken breasts rocks. The skin is unbelievably crispy, and because we cook it on the bone and the skin bastes the chicken, it is unbelievably juicy and moist.  And what’s even better is split chicken breasts ran me $1.89/pound instead of the $4/pound for boneless skinless chicken breast.  Pretty awesome given that I WANT the skin and bone! Now, you will notice that I don’t rub the skin with olive oil.  I have concluded that rubbing the skin with olive oil makes it less crispy (more on this below).  In my test, the unrubbed chicken skin browned MUCH better.  Doesn’t make sense, right?  No, but it does.

Adding olive oil adds another layer of fat to the chicken skin, and acts as a barrier.  Don’t even bother with that stuff.  Just let the roasting technique work its magic, and you will have the crispiest skinned juicy chicken ever.

Crispy Skinned Chicken Breast with Herb Sauce

Yield: Serves 2


For the chicken:
2 pounds split chicken breasts (this means the skin is still on and it's still on the bone). I had two chicken breasts.
plenty of sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

For the sauce:
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tbsp chopped fresh herb of choice (oregano, tarragon, etc)


Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.

Set a wire cooling rack on top of a baking sheet, and lay your chicken breasts on the rack. Season the chicken breasts with plenty of salt and pepper (add more than you think you will need...I put about 1/4 tsp of salt on each breast). The salt not only seasons the chicken but will help draw moisture out of the skin, making it EXTRA CRISPYYYYYYY!

Roast the chicken for 30-35 minutes (depending on the size of the breasts) until the interior reaches 155 degrees F. Turn the broiler on to high, and broil the skin for 2 minutes and make sure you don't take your eyes away from it (it can burn very quickly). I like to keep the chicken in the center of the oven when broiling so I can watch.

Now on to the sauce. In a large skillet, combine the stock, wine, and orange juice and reduce on high heat for about 10 minutes, until reduced to a thick consistency. When you are ready to take your sauce off the heat, throw the herbs in, and serve it below your chicken (don't pour on top of your chicken or else you'll soak the crispy skin)! Enjoy!!!

13 comments on “Crispy Skinned Chicken Breast with Herb Sauce

  1. Mmm, this looks delicious. I really appreciate you showing the difference between chicken broth and chicken stock, because the difference is really paramount! That sauce you made for the crispy chicken sounds like the perfect accompaniment, too.

    • Thank you Jess! Yes, I think the picture is great too! It always bugs me when I’m watching food network and they’re like “add some chicken stock” and they are using chicken broth! Not the same! You can see how different they are!

  2. Joanne, this looks amazing. As does everything else on this site! I am so impressed, not only by your skills, but also by your decision to follow your dreams and not get sucked into a job that would keep you unhappy. Way to go, girl!! Hope you’re doing great.

    • Thank you Laura!!!! It’s so great to hear from you! I hope I can make something come from this food blog…but even if something doesn’t, I’m just having a blast doing it!

  3. Simple & elegant! I sometimes get a little overzealous with the olive oil. Thanks for the tip. The sauce sounds fab.

    • Oh believe me, I LOVE olive oil too…a while ago when I was asked what my fav ingredient is, I said olive oil (though now I would have to change that to eggs). But it really doesn’t brown as well with it!

  4. Great experiment with that chicken. And thanks for pointing out the difference between chicken broth and stock. Do you have a recipe for chicken stock?

  5. Made this! SO DELICIOUS! And thank you, thank you for your rant about the difference between stock and broth…my pet peeve too! Such a huge difference and I too have seen FoodNet celebs use them interchangeably…again, sooo yummy!

  6. Made this last night and it was superb. I used boneless chicken breasts with skin on and after serving it up in a soup plate I thought that next time I might add cornflour to the sauce to thicken it to a consistency that I could serve it on a dinner plate with the veges as opposed to having the veges on a side dish. You could also maybe substitute the orange juice for apricot nectar or maybe even pineapple juice.
    Thanks for the tip on why you don’t add oil if you want crispy skin.

    • Hi Rosemary, I’m so glad to hear the chicken went well for you! Thanks for commenting. The cornstarch/cornflour would be nice to thicken, or you can reduce it more (if your stock isn’t too salty, that is). The apricot or pineapple ideas are fantastic!!! I will definitely try those. Thanks!

      • Heres another recipe which we thoroughly enjoy. Its from our home grown free range cook Annabel Langbein in New Zealand.

        Its called Pan-fried Chicken with Verjuice Glaze

        2 single boneless chicken breasts
        salt and ground pepper
        2 tablespoons butter
        1 tablespoon green peppercorns
        1/2 cup Verjuice (or white wine)
        1/4 cup cream (optional)

        Place chicken breasts between two pieces of waxed paper and lightly flatten with a rolling pin. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
        Heat butter in a pan and brown the chicken for about 10 minutes each side (depending on the size) It only takes 5 minutes each side with the ones I get. (must be smaller than the ones Annabel gets).
        Remove chicken from pan and add the peppercorns and verjuice / wine to the pan and stir to deglaze the pan.
        Simmer for 2-3 minutes to reduce the sauce to a shiny glaze. Add cream,if using, and boil again for a minute to lightly thicken.
        Serve glaze hot, poured over the chicken with mashed potato and lightly cooked greens.
        (So far I have only used skinless and boneless breasts, but I might try breasts with skin on next time)

        Verjuice is unripe grape juice. Basically puree the grapes then press pulp through a strainer lined with 4-5 layers of muslin. Refrigerate or freezethe juice if you don’t use it all within 24 hours.
        Or just buy it from a specialty delicatessan or maybe even a specialised supermarket.

        • Hi Rosemary, this recipe has me SO intrigued! I MUST find some of this verjuice stuff…I’ve read about it before but have never seen it. I will check at Whole Foods tomorrow. THanks!

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