Take your weeknight cooking up a notch with crispy skin-on chicken in a fresh lemon sage cream sauce. Chicken breasts are known to be the easiest and most popular choice for weeknight family meals, and this recipe is no exception. And guess what, you only need one pan to make it!
Tricks for Crispy Skin
To get perfectly seared skin, the most important step is in the preparation. Pat the skin dry of any extra moisture using paper towels, and season generously with kosher salt and a little pepper just before cooking. Be sure to preheat the pan and cooking oil, then cook without moving it (don’t even peek!) until the skin is brown and crispy. All the rest of the cooking will be done on the bare side, so this is your opportunity to get the skin just the way you like it.
After the chicken is finished, the sauce comes together in less than 10 minutes, coincidentally the perfect amount of time for the chicken to rest. The first and most important step in making the sauce is to cook the shallots in the pan juices left from cooking the chicken, scraping up the crispy pieces at the bottom. That’s called the fond, and it brings a punch of extra flavor to the sauce.
I’m a huge fan of sage any time of year, but I find myself reaching it for it the most during the winter. It brings a fresh herb taste to dishes and pairs perfectly with the rich, creamy, and comforting meals I’m making during the chilly season. It’s also hearty enough to withstand cooler temperatures, so it’s one of the easiest herbs to find locally throughout the winter.
I’ll be pairing this main dish with some of my favorite sides:
Crispy Chicken with Lemon Sage Cream Sauce
- 4 boneless skin-on chicken breasts
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup finely diced shallots about 3 shallots
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 6 tablespoons lemon juice about 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels and season each side with a generous pinch of kosher salt and black pepper.
- Heat a large, oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and heat until shimmering.
- Two breasts at a time, place the seasoned chicken skin-side down into the oil and sear, without moving the chicken, for 6-8 minutes, until golden brown and crispy.
- Flip and cook for 4 more minutes. Remove to a clean plate and repeat with the two remaining chicken breasts, adding additional oil if necessary.
- Return all the breasts back to the pan, skin side up, and place them in the preheated oven until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees, about 15 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a clean plate to rest.
- Place the pan the chicken was in with all the cooking juices onto the stovetop and heat over medium-high heat.
- Add in the shallot, cooking until soft, about 3 minutes. Add in the minced garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Pour in the lemon juice, butter, and sage, simmering until reduced by half and a rich brown color, about 5 minutes. Add the heavy cream and heat only until bubbling, about 1 minute. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper.Place the chicken back in the pan before serving and spoon the sauce over top.