Pan-Roasted Chicken

simple pan-fried chicken

The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 35 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 4 servings

Roasting a whole chicken for dinner can take time, but try quartering your bird (you can get your butcher to do it for you) or simply buy two legs and two breasts for a super-quick cook. Here, the pan-roasted chicken is served alongside a quick and easy sauce that's deliciously creamy and the perfect accompaniment to the roast.


  • 1 whole free-range chicken (quartered, or 2 legs and 2 breasts)
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (or rice bran oil)
  • 1 large shallot (cut in half lengthwise)
  • 1 clove garlic (cut in half)
  • 2 small sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 400 F.

  2. Carefully dry the chicken pieces with paper towels. On a chopping board, sprinkle a light layer of salt and several grinds of black pepper. Press the chicken pieces into the salt and pepper, turning the meat around to make sure all the meat is seasoned.


    • Sprinkling salt and pepper on top of meat can cause the seasoning to simply fall off when it's moved. Seasoning the board and pressing the salt and pepper into the meat ensures it will stay put.
  3. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the oil and melt the butter until hot, but not burning. Sear the chicken pieces, turning frequently; the breasts will need about 5 minutes and the legs 8 minutes.

  4. Into an ovenproof dish or Dutch oven, place the two shallots halves, garlic, and rosemary, then lay the chicken pieces on top. Pour any oil and butter from the pan onto the chicken, but do not scrape the pan. Keep as many of the cooking bits and pieces as you can. 

  5. Cook in the center of the preheated oven for 25 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 F which may be longer or shorter depending on the size of the chicken. 

  6. Meanwhile, put the frying pan back on medium-high heat. Once hot, add the dry white wine and stir to scrape all the bits on the bottom, cook for 1 minute and keep to one side.

  7. Once the chicken has cooked, move it from the pan using a slotted spoon or tongs onto a warm plate and cover with foil. Leave the chicken to rest for five minutes in a warm, but not hot place. 

  8. Put the dish or Dutch oven used for cooking the chicken on a burner over medium-high heat. Add the reduced wine and stir well, then add the stock. Boil until reduced by half. Check if there are any juices from the resting chicken. If so, add these to the sauce and continue to simmer for a few minutes more. Whisk in the cream and then strain through a fine sieve into a warmed gravy boat or other vessel to serve with the chicken. 

  9. Serve the roasted chicken with fresh vegetables and the sauce on the side.