Pan-Roasted Chicken with Sherry-Rosemary Sauce

For the bird:

1 1/2 cups kosher salt (3/4 cup table salt)

1 chicken (3 1/2 to 4 pounds), cut into 8 pieces (4 breast pieces, 2 thighs, and 2 legs)

Ground black pepper

1 tsp vegetable oil

For the sauce:

1 large shallot, minced (about 4 tbsp)

1 clove garlic

3/4 cup canned low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup sherry

2 sprigs fresh rosemary, bruised

3 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into three pieces

Salt and ground black pepper

Dissolve salt in 2 1/2 quarts cold tap water in large container or bowl; submerge chicken pieces in brine and refrigerate until fully seasoned, about 30 minutes. Rinse chicken pieces under running water and pat dry with paper towels. Season chicken with pepper.

Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 450.

Heat oil in heavy-bottomed 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until beginning to smoke, about 3 minutes; swirl skillet to coat evenly with oil. (Turn on your vent and open a window.) Brown chicken pieces skin-side down until deep golden, 5-6 minutes. Turn chicken pieces and brown until golden on second side, 4-5 minutes longer. Turn chicken skin-side down and place skillet in oven. Roast about 10 minutes longer. Chicken is done when juices run clear or an instant-read thermometer registers 160 for the white meat and 175 for the dark. Using potholder or oven mitt (because it’s incredibly hot), remove skillet from oven. Transfer chicken skin-side up to platter, and let rest while making sauce.

Pour off most of fat from skillet, and add shallots and garlic. Set skillet over medium heat, and cook, stirring almost constantly, until softened, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add broth, sherry, and rosemary. Increase heat to high, and simmer rapidly, scraping skilled bottom with wooden spatula to loosen fond. Simmer until slightly thickened and reduced to about 2/3 cup, about 6 minutes. Pour accumulated chicken juices from platter into skillet, discard rosemary, and whisk in butter one piece at a time. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Return chicken pieces skin-side up to skillet; simmer to heat through, about 1 minute. Serve immediately.

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