Bacon Rosemary Pan-Seared Chicken

This recipe can be an easy weeknight meal without the sauce or a special dinner with a little more work
1 hour 15 minutes Total Time
30 minutes to prep
45 minutes to cook
4 servings
This is a mashup of two recipes I love. The pan-seared chicken without any sauce is simple with very little work. It is not a fast recipe because you need to cook the chicken in the oven at a low temperature for at least 30 minutes, but that is hand-off time. This is the best way I know to make boneless skinless chicken breast taste great. This part of the recipe comes from Cook's Illustrated and is something I probably make once a month. Adding the Bacon Rosemary sauce is more work and not something I do often, but it does make this dish even better. The idea for that sauce came from a Cook's Country recipe which was good but the chicken was not as tender or moist. Using the sauce on the pan-seared chicken makes this more special, but if you don't have as much time or all the ingredients, just searing the chicken with the butter paste is still delicious.
Adapted From: Cook's Illustrated
If you only make the pan-seared chicken without the sauce, the prep time will be less. You will only need to poke and salt the chicken and make the butter mixture to brush on the chicken. Since you won't have bacon fat in the pan, just use some olive oil. After cooking the chicken to 145°, the chicken will look very unappetizing, but don't worry. It will look much nicer after you sear it.



  • Preheat oven to 275°F. Set oven rack to lower-middle position. Gather ingredients and trim chicken.
    Step 0
  • Poke each chicken breast in the fatter half 5 times with a fork.
    Step 1
  • Sprinkle each breast with 1/4 teaspoon of salt, covering both sides with the salt. Use a little more if you are using kosher salt. Place the chicken in a baking dish with the top of each breast (the smooth side) down. Cover pan with foil and bake in the oven until the thick part of chicken is between 145° and 150°. This may take between 30 and 40 minutes or longer. Start checking at 30 minutes.
    Step 2
  • While chicken is baking (towards the end), prepare the rest of the ingredients. Start bacon cooking in a 12" non-stick skillet of medium heat.
    Step 3
  • Mix the melted butter, pepper, flour, and cornstarch in a small bowl.
    Step 4
  • When bacon is done cooking, remove bacon from pan, leaving the fat in the pan. If there is a lot of fat left in the pan, remove some with a paper towel, leaving about 1 tablespoons in there.
    Step 5
  • When chicken reaches 150°, remove from oven. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Brush the top (the smoother side) of the chicken breasts with half of the butter mixture.
    Step 6
  • Heat the pan with bacon fat over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breast to the pan, with the buttered side down. Brush the other side of the chicken with the remaining butter mixture.
    Step 7
  • Cook chicken 3-4 minutes until chicken is well-browned on the bottom. Flip the chicken and reduce the heat to medium. Cook until chicken is at least 160°. When chicken is done, put it on a clean plate to rest.
    Step 8
  • If there is no fat left in the pan add a splash of olive oil. Add the garlic, rosemary, and red pepper flakes. Saute over medium-low heat for about minute or until fragrant.
    Step 9
  • Add chicken broth and scrape up any browned bits. Simmer for a few minutes until sauce thickens.
    Step 10
  • Return chicken and bacon to the pan, turning the chicken to coat with the sauce. Cook for 2 minutes longer and continue to thicken sauce.
    Step 11
  • Adjust seasonings. If you have some lemon you can squeeze a little in to the sauce. Serve.
    Step 12

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