Chicken breast fillets have a neutrality of flavour that facilitates several preparations and seasoning options. Browning the breast in a cast-iron frying pan prior to baking creates a golden-brown colour and depth of flavour unattainable by roasting alone. Alternatively, brown the breast in a standard frying pan and transfer to a roasting pan for baking.
Preheat the oven to 177 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit). Rinse the chicken breast fillet under cool-running water and pat dry with paper towels. Rinsing the chicken removes any liquid released from it while packaged. Place the breast fillet skin-side-down on a cutting board and season to taste with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper.
Coat a cast-iron frying pan with olive oil and heat to high. Place the chicken breast fillet skin-side-down in the pan when the oil begins to shimmer. Brown for approximately two minutes on each side, or until the fillet reaches a golden-brown colour.
Place the cast-iron frying pan directly into the preheated oven. If using a standard frying pan, transfer to a roasting pan prior to baking. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until the chicken reaches a minimum internal temperature of 73.9 degrees Celsius (165 degrees Fahrenheit). Check the temperature of the fillet by placing a meat thermometer in its centre. Remove, loosely cover with aluminium foil and allow the chicken to rest for approximately 10 minutes before serving. The resting period allows the moisture to redistribute throughout the breast fillet, resulting in a juicy final product.
- "The Professional Chef 8th Edition"; The Culinary Institute of America; 2006
- Serious Eats: The food lab: the importance of resting meat
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: Is It Done Yet?
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