Dinner Tonight: Pan Roasted Chicken with Olives, Capers, and Vermouth

I can't even remember the last time I just bought chicken breasts at the store. In college I would buy the skinless, boneless version in enormous frozen bags, but I've changed since then. I usually go for a whole chicken now, which I either immediately roast or cut up and use how I see fit. But the fiancée and I were going away for a long weekend and just needed a quick meal that wouldn't leave any leftovers. Sparked by both curiosity and practicality, I set off for some chicken breasts.

We wanted to make a recipe from Christopher Kimball's The Kitchen Detective because of a fantastic sounding pan sauce made of olives and capers. As I was reading the entry I realized the main focus of the recipe is actually how to properly cook a chicken breast without drying it out. The obvious tip is to leave the skin on and the bone in—that was easy. He also recommends a brine, which might be wonderful, but I just didn't have the time. It didn't seem to matter; the seared chicken came out beautifully moist, if a tad bland. Luckily, the rich sauce was more than up to the task.

About the author: Nick Kindelsperger is a co-founder of The Paupered Chef, a blog dedicated to saving time and money while enjoying food in every way possible. He sells wine for a living and lives in Columbus, Ohio.

Dinner Tonight: Pan Roasted Chicken with Olives, Capers, and Vermouth

About This Recipe



  • 2 chicken breasts, bone-in and skin-on
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dry vermouth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 2 tablespoons Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped


  1. 1

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut three slits into the top of each breast, just breaking the skin. Season them heavily with the salt and pepper.

  2. 2

    Pour the oil into an iron skillet and turn the heat to medium-high. When it's nice and hot place the chicken breasts in skin side down. Cook for 8 minutes.

  3. 3

    Flip the breasts over and transfer the skillet to the oven. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the inside is about 165°F.

  4. 4

    Remove the chicken and set aside. Pour off all but 1/2 tablespoon of the fat and place the skillet over high heat. Add the vermouth and the bay leaf. Let it reduce by 2/3rds, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped olives and capers and cook for another minute.

  5. 5

    Turn off the heat, pour in the lemon juice and add the parsley. Stir until combined. Serve the sauce over the chicken breasts.


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