Sheet-pan chicken and chicken soups may be where you feel most comfortable cooking poultry, but chef Gordon Ramsay thinks the most delicious way you can prep chicken is by pan-searing it and then finishing it in the oven. He tackles the subject extensively in his MasterClass: Gordon Ramsay Teaches Cooking I ($90), and we had to try it out ourselves to see if it was worth the extra effort. Spoiler: It totally is.

Chicken breasts are pan-seared with garlic and thyme before getting bathed in butter and tossed in the oven to finish cooking. The leftover fond, AKA the browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan, act as the base ingredient for a pan sauce, or au jus that gets drizzled over the finished meat.

If you want to go the extra mile, Ramsay shares an interesting technique for roasting root vegetables on a bed of herbs, which you can serve with the chicken and its luscious sauce for a complete dinner. If root veg isn’t your thing, simply skip that section and make the chicken. We promise that buttery, garlicky, herby sauce will taste good drizzled on whatever side dishes you choose to make, whether mashed or roasted potatoes, rice, and/or steamed vegetables.

Chicken Suprême With Root Vegetables

(Serves 2)

Cooking Time: 65 minutes

Recipe Notes: If you can’t find baby vegetables, simply peel and dice the root vegetables from the grocery store. We prefer to use ghee, or clarified butter, instead of grapeseed oil. Ghee has a high smoke point like grapeseed oil yet imparts an addictive, toasty flavor. We used apple juice instead of brandy and reduced chicken stock over veal demi-glace, although Williams-Sonoma sells a jarred version of it. Though chef Ramsay grates black truffle on top of his chicken, which we can imagine is ridiculously tasty, we passed on that in favor of cooking a more practical, budget-friendly meal.

Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless, skin-on chicken breasts
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

For the Root Vegetables:

  • 12 baby carrots
  • 8 baby turnips
  • 4 baby golden beets
  • 4 baby red beets
  • 1 small bunch rosemary
  • 1/2 small bunch thyme
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • sea salt

For the Chicken:

  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil or ghee
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed once with the flat side of a chef’s knife
  • remaining half bunch thyme
  • 1 stick butter, divided
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup brandy (substitute with a
    splash of apple juice)
  • 3/4 cup veal demi-glace or reduced chicken stock
  • Perigord black truffle, shaved to garnish (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425°F.

2. Remove chicken from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature. Season well with salt and pepper.

3. Make the root vegetables. Wash all vegetables thoroughly and dry. Form a bed of rosemary, thyme and parsley in a roasting pan. Season with salt.

4. Lay the vegetables on top.

5. Seal tightly with aluminum foil, shiny side up (dull side in to insulate heat). Place roasting pan over medium heat on the stove top. Let the vegetables heat up, about 1 minute, until you hear crackling, then transfer pan to oven. Cook the vegetables until they are knife-tender, 30 to 40 minutes depending on size.

6. Make the chicken. Meanwhile, move on to your chicken. Place a large skillet over high heat and add grapeseed oil (or ghee). Once oil is heated, add chicken breasts, skin-side down, into the pan. Chicken should sizzle immediately upon contact with the pan. If it does not, wait until the pan has heated more. Add garlic and thyme. Don’t move the chicken until skin releases and browns on the edges, about 4 minutes. Tilt the chicken to the edge of the pan, searing the sides, about 10 seconds per side.

7. Flip the chicken and add 3-4 tablespoons butter. As the butter melts, carefully and continuously spoon it over the chicken, basting the skin until golden, about 3 minutes. Flip the chicken back to skin-side down.

8. Transfer the pan to the oven for about 10 minutes, until golden brown and juices run clear.

9. Remove from oven and transfer the chicken to a plate to rest.

10. Drain the excess fat from the pan to a small bowl using a colander. Reserve garlic and thyme.

11. Place the skillet back over medium heat on the stove top. Add shallots and 2 tablespoons butter. Transfer garlic cloves and thyme back into pan. Stirring frequently, continue to cook until shallots caramelize, about 4 minutes. Lower the heat and carefully pour brandy or splash of apple juice into the pan. If using brandy, be cautious of the flambé caused by the alcohol burning off. Keep your thumb over the opening of the bottle to control the pour. Scrape the bottom of the pan clean.

12. Add demi-glace, stir, and season with salt and pepper. Let the sauce cook a few minutes.

13. Pass through a strainer into a small sauce pot. Push the shallots and garlic into the strainer, using the back of your spoon to scrape off the puréed veg lingering on the other side of the strainer. This will help thicken the sauce. Place back over heat and cook until reduced, about 5 minutes.

14. Halve the cooked vegetables (if using baby veg) and arrange on plates. Separate the chicken tender from each breast and add to the center of the plate. Slice the breasts, then transfer all chicken pieces to plates.

15. Drizzle sauce around chicken. Grate truffle over the plates, if using.

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(Recipe by Gordon Ramsay / MasterClass; styling by Kayla Haykin / Brit + Co; photos via Brittany Griffin / Brit + Co)