Crispy skin is the dividend from this easy recipe for pan-fried chicken breasts using the principles of brick chicken. We’ve simplified things by using a second skillet to do the pressing—the weight causes the skin to make full contact with the skillet, so every bit of it browns. After the chicken cooks, you make a quick pan sauce of garlic, white wine, and butter (to avoid the alcohol, substitute half a cup each of water and low-sodium chicken broth for the wine). Serve with Easy Glazed Carrots.

  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Total: 40 mins, plus at least 2 hrs marinating time 
  • Active: 20 mins 

Ingredients (11)

  • 4 boneless, skin-on chicken breasts, about 8 ounces each
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 6 medium garlic cloves, 3 peeled and smashed, 3 minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons (1/3 to 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, chilled


  1. Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper. In a large zippered plastic bag, combine the olive oil, whole smashed garlic, oregano, thyme, and rosemary. Add the chicken and rub the marinade all over to coat each breast. Seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or as long as overnight.
  2. Remove the chicken breasts from the bag, letting the excess marinade drip off. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside. Place a large cast-iron or other heavy frying pan over medium-high heat. Have ready a second cast-iron or heavy frying pan that fits just inside the first one, as if they’re nesting.
  3. When the first pan is very hot, add the canola oil. When the oil is hot (it should shimmer but not smoke), put the chicken breasts in the pan skin-side down. Cover with a piece of aluminum foil that just covers the breasts. Place the second frying pan on top of the foil covering the chicken breasts.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, without moving the chicken, until the skin is crispy and a deep golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan and foil, turn the chicken halves over, and continue to cook until a thermometer in the thickest part of the breast registers 160°F, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to a warm platter and let rest for 10 minutes while you make the sauce.
  5. Return the frying pan to the stovetop over medium-high heat. Add the wine and minced garlic and bring to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits. Cook for about 4 minutes. Add the butter in pieces, whisking it into the sauce until the sauce is smooth and silky. Transfer the chicken to warmed serving plates and spoon over the sauce.