Rush Hour Chicken

Properly sautéed chicken breasts are deliciously simple. Do what you like with them when they're done: make a simple pan sauce: maybe add a few sun-dried tomatoes  and eat them as is, or slice them up to top a salad: or toss with pasta: or  fill tortillas (throw a few green peppers in the pan and a squeeze of lime). I like a side of risotto but buttered noodles are nice, too. 
A few tips for great taste: thick chicken pieces take too long to cook and the middle will be bland. Use small breasts or cut each in half lengthwise to make thinner cutlets. Pounding with a meat tenderizer thins them out nicely as well; Use an all clad stainless pan instead of non-stick for better browning; Slice each cutlet crosswise before serving to allow the sauce to coat each tender morsel.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts halves
Dash of sea salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup chicken broth and 1/2 cup dry white wine or cooking sherry
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (1 tablespoon if dried)
Trim the chicken breasts if they need trimming. I use kitchen scissors and snip off any the odd bits of fat or gristle. Rinse under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels. Sprinkle them with sea salt.

Heat a large pan over medium-high heat and add the butter, which should melt and foam, and the olive oil, which will keep the butter from burning. When the fat is all very hot but not turning black (many recipes say "when the foam subsides"), add chicken cutlets in one layer. Sear for 4-5 minutes until the bottom gets crusty and browned.
Use tongs or a spatula to flip them over, and cook another 4 or so minutes until the bottom is golden brown and the chicken is cooked through. You can cut a piece open to check, but pressing a cooked breast with your fingertip will give you a feel for its doneness, which great cooks claim will develop into the skill of knowing when it's done without cutting it. (I still cut to check and I’m no newbie at cooking.)

Keep the cooked chicken warm on a separate plate while you deglaze the pan. Pour the wine in and scrape with a spatula to dissolve all the yummy browned bits in the hot pan. Bring to a simmer. When the wine has cooked down about halfway, add the broth and turn the heat to high until the sauce cooks to a syrupy thickness (about 2-3 minutes of a good boil). Toss parsley in at the last minute Add salt and pepper to taste if needed. Drizzle sauce over the chicken and serve.


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