How to Sauté Chicken and Turkey
Sautéing is a great way to impart flavor to poultry. It stays juicy with a flavorful outside, especially with the addition of different herbs and spices. Sautéing is particularly good with the chicken or turkey’s skin left on.
You can also make a delicious sauce with the leftover oil (or butter) and herbs in the pan by adding wine, juice, or chicken broth to the pan after cooking the poultry and reducing the liquid to concentrate the flavor.
Check out the Sautéed Chicken Breasts with Tomatoes and Thyme, as well as the Lemon-Rubbed Chicken with Rosemary.
Sautéed Chicken Breasts with Tomatoes and Thyme
Preparation time: About 20 minutes
Cook time: About 15 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
Salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 large clove garlic, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, or 1/4 teaspoon dried
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, or 2 teaspoons dried (optional)
1⁄3 cup white wine or chicken stock
Place the chicken breasts on a cutting board, season generously on both sides with salt and black pepper, cover with wax paper, and pound them lightly so they’re of equal thickness. (Use the bottom of a heavy pan or a meat mallet.)
Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the chicken and sauté for about 4 to 5 minutes per side or until done. Remove the pieces to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm.
Add the onion to the pan over medium heat. Stir for 1 minute, scraping the bottom of the pan.
Add the garlic, stirring occasionally for another minute. Add the tomatoes, thyme, basil (if desired), and salt and black pepper to taste. Stir for 1 minute.
Add the wine or stock, increase the heat to high, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 to 3 minutes until most of the liquid evaporates. (You want moist, not soupy.)
Place the chicken on a plate and spoon equal portions of sauce over each piece.
Per serving: Calories 170 (From Fat 47); Fat 5g (Saturated 1g); Cholesterol 63mg; Sodium 203mg; Carbohydrate 6g (Dietary Fiber 1g); Protein 24g.
You can modify this recipe in many ways. For example, use turkey breasts or slices of veal instead of chicken; add 1 cup fresh, frozen, or canned corn kernels with the chopped tomatoes; add 2 tablespoons heavy cream with the stock or wine; substitute tarragon, marjoram, or other herb of choice for the thyme; or grate some Parmesan cheese over the top of each serving.
Lemon-Rubbed Chicken with Rosemary
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 35–40 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
4 whole chicken legs, with drumsticks, trimmed of excess fat (about 1-1/2 to 2 pounds)
2 lemons, quartered
Salt and black pepper to taste
1-1/2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves, or 3 teaspoons dried
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
5 tablespoons chicken broth or water
Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. With a large knife, separate the drumsticks from the thighs.
Rub the chicken pieces with four of the lemon wedges.
Squeeze juice from those wedges over the chicken. Season with salt, black pepper, and 1 tablespoon of the fresh rosemary (or 2 teaspoons of dried rosemary).
In a 10-inch fry pan over medium-high heat, heat the oil and cook the chicken pieces, skin-side down, until golden brown, 7 to 10 minutes.
Flip the chicken pieces and squeeze remaining lemon juice over them.
Reduce to medium-low heat and cook, covered, for 25 to 30 minutes or until the meat in the center along the bone is no longer pink. Transfer to serving plates.
Return the skillet to medium-high heat. Add the garlic and remaining rosemary. Cook for 45 seconds to a minute (the garlic should be barely golden — don’t let it burn).
Add the chicken broth or water. Scrape the dark bits clinging to the bottom of the pan and cook about 45 seconds, stirring. Drizzle over the chicken.
Per serving: Calories 551 (From Fat 339); Fat 38g (Saturated 9g); Cholesterol 161mg; Sodium 313mg; Carbohydrate 6g (Dietary Fiber 1g); Protein 46g.
To separate drumsticks from thighs, place the chicken pieces on a cutting board, fat-side down; use your finger to locate the joint between the thigh and the drumstick and cut through.