Easy Pan-Roasted Chicken Breasts With Morel Mushroom Pan Sauce Recipe

The Food Lab

Unraveling the mysteries of home cooking through science.

Easy Pan-Roasted Chicken Breasts With Morel Mushroom Pan Sauce Recipe

The secrets for extra-juicy chicken with crisp skin and a smooth, rich pan sauce flavored with lemon and rosemary. [Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Pan-roasted chicken with pan sauce—like this one flavored with morel mushrooms and shallots and lemon—is the ultimate weeknight staple. It's inexpensive, delicious, and takes less than half an hour from start to finish. Throw a great simple mixed green salad on the side, and you've got yourself one of my all-time favorite meals.

Why It Works

  • Adding gelatin to broth forms a thicker, glossier, far more stable emulsion than store-bought broth alone.
  • Soy sauce adds a big umami boost to the sauce.
  • A thermometer ensures that your chicken comes out perfectly moist with crisp skin every time.
  • Yield:Serves 2 to 3
  • Active time: 20 minutes
  • Total time:30 minutes


  • 2 whole airline chicken breasts or boneless skin-on chicken breasts (6 to 8 ounces each)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons powdered gelatin (see note)
  • 4 ounces morel mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed, and split in half lengthwise
  • 1 small shallot, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives


  1. 1.

    Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 450°F. Pat chicken breasts dry and season generously with salt and pepper. Heat oil in an oven-safe medium stainless steel skillet over high heat until just starting to smoke. Carefully lay chicken breasts into hot skillet skin side down. Cook without moving until skin is deep golden brown and very crisp, about 6 minutes. Carefully flip chicken breasts and transfer skillet to the oven.

  2. 2.

    While chicken roasts, add stock and wine to a liquid measuring cup and sprinkle gelatin over the top. Set aside.

  3. 3.

    Cook chicken until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken breasts registers 150°F, about 7 to 12 minutes. Remove skillet from oven and transfer chicken to a cutting board. Set aside to rest while you make the pan sauce.

  4. 4.

    Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the skillet and place over high heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring and tossing occasionally, until well-browned, about 4 minutes total. Add shallots and cook, stirring, until softened and fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add stock/gelatin mixture and cook, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Continue cooking on high heat until sauce is reduced by about two-thirds, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in butter and soy sauce and cook at a hard boil until emulsified, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and set aside.

  5. 5.

    Slice chicken breasts into three pieces on a sharp bias and transfer to individual serving plates. Taste sauce and season with salt and pepper. Stir in chives. Spoon sauce over the chicken and serve immediately.