From America's Test Kitchen Season 3: Chicken in a Flash
We chose whole breasts, then split them ourselves to control their size. We brined the breasts for maximum moistness and then seared them on the stovetop before letting them cook through in a 450-degree oven. For the pan sauce, we sautéed minced shallot in the same skillet used to cook the chicken, so we could take advantage of the flavorful browned bits left in the pan. We deglazed the pan with chicken broth and vermouth, then added fresh sage for a sauce with deep herbal flavor. Butter whisked into the sauce after it had reduced lent the sauce body and richness—a perfect partner to our moist, juicy chicken.
Brining the chicken is optional but highly recommended. If you opt not to brine, use a kosher chicken if one is available (kosher chickens are salted during processing and have the moistness and flavor of brined chickens). This recipe requires a 12-inch ovenproof skillet. The handle will be blisteringly hot after being in the oven, so be sure to use a potholder or oven mitt to remove the skillet from the oven and when handling the skillet as you make the sauce. Dry white wine may be substituted for the vermouth.