A story about chicken breast

April 19, 2010

Pan Roasted Chicken with Sundried Tomatoes and Feta

I started writing a post about my eight year struggle with boneless skinless chicken breast, and then I got tired and bored. It’s only chicken, after all. So I’ll spare you and paraphrase. Up until about six months ago, I couldn’t figure chicken breast out. I’d marinate. I’d pound. And I’d rather have eaten the rubber sole of a shoe. It always left something to be desired. But I so wanted to be able to cook it, eat it and like it. Here I was, recommending boneless skinless chicken breast as a healthier alternative to red meat and fried chicken legs, trying to convince people that yes, it could be just as satisfying as, say, prime rib. But at the same time I was struggling to make a decent meal of this ornery cut of poultry. It was always the same old story. Dry. Dry and tough. Dry and tough and leathery. Again, pass the shoe. I thought I was a decent cook. This ongoing chicken battle made me wonder.

And then one day I happened upon this pan roasting method and, well, glorious. It all made sense. Sear both sides over high heat for a couple of minutes (to seal in the juices), transfer to a high heat oven to roast (and finish cooking), then allow to rest before serving (to allow the juices to redistribute). It only took me a humbling eight years to figure out. But that’s what this whole cooking thing is all about. Learn as you go, improve with practice. It’s experiences like this that make me appreciate and love the art of food that much more.

Ok, so I guess you did get a story about boneless skinless chicken breast.

Which brings me to this recipe. It’s one of those that comes to be out of necessity, in my case to use up half a block of good sheep’s milk feta and leftover fresh thyme and oregano. This recipe is open for interpretation. Swap in goat cheese or roasted red peppers or any assortment of your favorite fresh herbs.

I served this alongside a raw asparagus salad with lemon Parmesan dressing, recipe courtesy of NicoleĀ from the lovely cooking after five. Raw asparagus! Brilliant! Such a nice change of pace.

Pan Roasted Chicken with Sundried Tomatoes and Feta

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast (about 3-4 each)
  • 2 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1-2 T finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes in oil (drained), chopped
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 T olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Using a sharp paring knife, slice a horizontal pocket into the side of each chicken breast, making sure not to cut through the other side.

In a small bowl combine the thyme, oregano, black pepper, sundried tomatoes and feta. Toss gently to combine. Stuff each chicken breast with about 2-3 tablespoons of the mixture and then season each side with kosher salt and pepper.

Heat the olive oil in an ovensafe 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. The pan is hot enough when the oil looks “squiggly” and smokes slightly. Sear the chicken breast (top side first) for 2 minutes, then flip and sear the underside for 1 minute. Transfer skillet to the preheated oven and roast until chicken is done and juices run clear (7-8 minutes). Remove from oven, cover and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes.

Serves 3-4.

  1. allison from "a for aubergine"

    April 19, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    This contains flavors I love! I’ve cooked a dish similar to this but not with sun dried tomatoes and feta. Love it!

  2. Cherine

    April 20, 2010 at 4:56 am

    This looks delicious. I’m completely challenged for some reason, when it comes to stuffing chicken breast. I should try your recipe soon :)

  3. Danna

    April 20, 2010 at 9:31 am

    Wow, this looks incredible. I love sundried tomatoes and feta cheese. My mouth is watering and it’s only 10:30 in the morning! haha :)

  4. Estela @ Weekly Bite

    April 20, 2010 at 10:43 am

    I’m the same way with chicken breasts. We always cook it, but I almost barely eat it. Its just so boring sometimes! I love this recipe though!

  5. Abby (Nibble, Nourish, Run)

    April 20, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    Haha love it – I went through the same struggle! Trying to figure out how to make chicken stay juicy and um…appealing? My first victory came with roasting a whole chicken – but now I love the braising and pan searing method too…! This looks divine – love the flavor combo!

  6. Stephanie

    April 21, 2010 at 11:23 am

    Ha. Tell this to the dietitian…

    My favorite is seared chicken breast topped with herbed soft cheese and wrapped in puffed pastry and baked. It’s a fancy treat.

  7. Naomi (onefitfoodie)

    April 21, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    OMG this looks so delicious! printing the recuipe NOW

  8. Mo

    April 21, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    Next time I make chicken breast I’m definitely using this method. I have the same problems with it unless I marinate it in a lot of acid for a very long time. o.O

  9. M.

    April 23, 2010 at 12:55 am

    I would like to try this recipe, all ingredients used look good and I like the fact that it is stuffed, I eat a lot of chicken and I think it gets boring once in a while, so I’m always on a look out for an interesting recipe.

  10. molly

    April 25, 2010 at 7:56 am

    And I thought I was Queen of Rubbery chicken! I gave up cooking it whole years ago, and now slice it thin and stir-fry it with veg — asparagus, cashews, green beans. And Asian seasonings — oyster sauce, mirin, green onions, etc. Poaching, I’d almost forgotten! That works well, too. Next time I want something whole and golden, though, I’ll have to give this a go!

  11. Nicole

    April 28, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    So glad you liked the asparagus salad! It looks great with the chicken.

  12. Kelley

    May 10, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    I bet that would be delicious with goat cheese, too!

  13. Ellen

    May 24, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    I made this for dinner last night for Danna, my mom and I…yum! I also added some fresh basil and mushrooms. This recipe is a great way to spruce chicken up a bit!

  14. Donna

    March 16, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    Why can’t they list the calories per serving with these recipes??

Leave a Comment


Email Updates