This recipe makes chicken breasts juicy (yes, you read that right) with a devilishly easy dry rub and just a touch of butter. I like to make it even saucier with a devastatingly sweet and tangy mix of balsamic red onions and plums. And the best part? It’s all done in one pan!
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, patted dry and pounded to even 1” thickness
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided or olive oil spray
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Balsamic Red Onion and Plum:
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
6-8 small plums, pitted and quartered
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
•In a large bowl or zip top bag, add the onion and garlic powders, paprika, thyme, and salt and mix or shake to combine. Add the chicken breasts and drizzle a teaspoon or 2 of olive oil (or spray with olive oil) over top, then toss to coat with the spice mix on all sides. Set aside 20 minutes on the counter or up to 1 day covered in the refrigerator. Remove to the countertop 20 minutes before you are ready to cook to let the chill wear off.
•When ready to cook, add remaining olive oil (or use an olive oil spray) to coat the base of a large cast iron skillet. Once oil is shimmering over medium-high heat, add the chicken breasts, being careful not to let them touch or overcrowd the pan (this leads to steaming and a less than ideal texture on your finished bird!). Sit back and relax, and flip your chicken to the other side when it releases itself from the surface of the pan, somewhere around 6-7 minutes.
•Add ½ tablespoon butter to the pan, and continue to cook chicken another 5-6 minutes or until the juices run clear and the internal temperature reads 160F. Spoon melted butter and any pan drippings over cooking chicken several times. Once cooked, remove chicken to serving plate(s) and repeat the process with remaining chicken, then set this aside to rest at least 5 minutes to finish cooking and allow juices to reabsorb (it will reach 165F during this process).
•Add the red onion, plums, and thyme to the same pan and stir to coat with all remaining juices, then add the balsamic vinegar. Bring sauce to a boil and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any lovely brown bits that might be sticking to the bottom of the pan, then drop to a simmer and taste for seasoning; adjust salt and pepper as needed. Continue to cook to desired consistency, another minute or so.
•Serve each piece of chicken with a ladle of the plum sauce over top and enjoy! Any leftovers can be stored up to 3 days, refrigerated in an airtight container.