Recipe by swissms
Cook's Illustrated. "Try to choose 10- to 12-ounce split chicken breasts with skin intact. If split breasts are of different sizes, check the smaller ones a few minutes early to see if they are cooking more quickly, and remove them from the skillet if they are done ahead. Brown ale gives this sauce a nutty, toasty, bittersweet flavor. Newcastle Brown Ale and Samuel Smith Nut Brown Ale are good choices."
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
- 1 cup kosher salt (or 1/2 cup table salt)
- 4 chicken breast halves, bone-in and skin-on about 3/4 pounds each
- ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
Onion and Ale Sauce
- 1⁄2 medium onion, sliced very thin
- 3⁄4 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 1⁄2 cup brown ale
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces
- table salt
- ground black pepper
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cider vinegar
Directions See How It's Made
- Dissolve salt in 2 quarts cold tap water in large container or bowl; submerge chicken in brine and refrigerate until fully seasoned, about 30 minutes. Rinse chicken pieces under running water and pat dry with paper towels. Season chicken with pepper.
- Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 450 degrees.
- Heat oil in heavy-bottomed 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until beginning to smoke; swirl skillet to coat with oil. Brown chicken skin-side down until deep golden, about 5 minutes; turn chicken pieces and brown until golden on second side, about 3 minutes longer. Turn chicken skin-side down and place skillet in oven. Roast until juices run clear when chicken is cut with paring knife, or thickest part of breast registers 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer chicken to platter, and let rest while making sauce. (If not making sauce, let chicken rest 5 minutes before serving.).
- Using potholder to protect hands from hot skillet handle, pour off most of fat from skillet; add onion, then set skillet over medium-high heat and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is softened, about 3 minutes. Add chicken broth, bay, brown sugar,brown ale, and thyme; increase heat to high and simmer rapidly, scraping skillet bottom with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits, until slightly thickened and reduced to about 3/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Pour accumulated chicken juices into skillet, reduce heat to medium, and whisk in butter 1 piece at a time; season to taste with salt and pepper, add 1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar and discard bay. Spoon sauce around chicken breasts and serve immediately.