There are few aromas as wonderful as roasting chicken. Especially chicken slathered in butter, lemon, and garlic roasting away on an autumn afternoon. The citrus adds a bright, aromatic note to counter the richness of the butter, and the dish is finished with a flavorful sauce made from pan drippings and a touch of cream that is just as delicious atop the chicken as it is drizzled on accompanying potatoes or vegetables.

Pan-roasting is my go-to method for mouthwatering, succulent chicken. Browning the meat on the stove first locks in moisture and creates beautifully crispy, golden skin. Then the chicken is finished in an oven, still in the pan with the drippings and a flavorful stock, until it is evenly roasted to golden perfection. In less than an hour, you have a deliciously tender, luscious meal that tastes like it took hours of preparation.

This recipe is equally befitting of a cozy weeknight in, or a night of elegant entertaining.

Recipe after the jump… 

Pan- Roasted Chicken Serves 2

2 bone-in whole chicken legs (or 4 bone-in chicken thighs)
2 tbs unsalted butter
1 lemon, juiced
1 tbs fresh garlic, chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 shallots, peeled and diced
kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper

1. Melt butter over medium heat in an oven-safe pan. Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to pan, skin-side down. Brown both sides until golden, about 4-6 minutes, each side.

2. Squeeze lemon juice over chicken, then add garlic, chicken stock, shallots, and thyme sprigs to the pan.

3. Roast, uncovered, in a preheated 400 degree oven for 30-35 minutes, until chicken is succulent and cooked-through.

4. Remove chicken from pan and cover with foil.

5. Heat remaining pan juices on the stove over medium-high heat until the liquid begins to boil. Add wine, and reduce the heat to medium, and let simmer, uncovered, until the liquid reduces and begins to thicken, about 5-7 minutes. Remove thyme sprigs. Stir in cream and let simmer, 2-3 minutes.

6. Spoon pan sauce over chicken, and serve immediately.