Reverse Sear Chicken Breast Like Steak For A Deliciously Crispy Crust

browned chicken breast
browned chicken breast - Elena Veselova/Shutterstock

For a long time, carnivores who love a thick, perfectly cooked steak have been using the so-called reverse sear method to get a flavorful brown exterior and pink, juicy inside on their meat. The term refers to the process of cooking the steak at a lower temperature in the oven, where it achieves nearly the right degree of doneness, and then quickly finishing the meat in a very hot pan to get that caramelized exterior. A reverse-seared steak thus has the best of both worlds: full flavor without the risk of being dry and overcooked. It's time for those of us who love the lean protein of chicken breast to enjoy the same outcome. Yes, it's actually possible to have a moist and flavorful chicken breast with a golden brown finish by following the same technique.

The problem with browning chicken breasts is that because they're so lean, it's easy to overcook and dry out the meat. By the time a chicken breast becomes brown in a hot pan, the interior is still uncooked (unless it's been pounded thin). Keeping the chicken in that hot pan to finish cooking is a balance of not burning the outside while not overcooking or undercooking the interior. So, by starting with the chicken already done in the middle, a quick sear to add the finishing color is all that's needed.

Read more: 12 Different Ways To Cook Chicken

How To Crisp Up Perfect Chicken Breasts

browned chicken breasts
browned chicken breasts - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

The reverse sear can be used for skin-on or skinless chicken breasts. Chicken skin should be pricked all over with a sharp knife to allow fat and water to escape in the oven; otherwise, the moist skin will steam in the searing pan and take too long to brown. In both cases, the chicken should be seasoned and placed in the oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit until fully cooked (an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit). A great bonus of this time in the oven is that the chicken will be dry on the outside, which is perfect for searing.

Heat up a cast iron or stainless steel skillet — avoid non-stick as they're not the right choice for a high-heat sear. You'll also want a bit of high-heat cooking oil. Heat the pan until the oil sizzles and carefully place the oven-roasted chicken inside using tongs. Press it against the pan for several seconds and rotate to brown the sides if you'd like. Although this method of browning chicken breasts takes a bit longer than a simple pan fry, you'll be rewarded for your patience with tasty and moist chicken breasts every time.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.