Last updated on July 19th, 2020
Chicken with Herbs and Vermouth comes together in only 15 minutes, and hoo boy, it’s delicious! I made this bit of magic for my YouTube channel last week (click here to watch), and it was loved by all who tried it. The dish isn’t really a recipe — it’s a cooking technique. Save for the chicken, there are no exact ingredients or measurements. So please feel free to experiment! I made the dish this way:
Chicken with Herbs and Vermouth
First, select some fresh, fragrant herbs! Use whatever herbs you like, or that you happen to have in your garden. I used each of the following:
5 fat leaves of basil…
5 good-sized leaves of common sage…
About 5 stems of common thyme…
3-5 stems oregano…
And a handful of flat-leaved (“Italian”) parsley.
If you include parsley in your collection of herbs, mince it and use it as a garnish for the finished dish. The remaining herbs will require no chopping at all. Just keep them whole.
Next, grab a couple of chicken breasts — preferable from free-range chickens — and slice them horizontally in half.
This way, you’ll have 4 pieces that will cook both quickly and evenly.
Pat the pieces dry with paper towels. Wet chicken won’t brown properly.
Now warm some olive oil and butter — a generous tablespoon of each — in a big skillet over medium heat.
When the butter melts, add all of the herbs (excluding the minced parsley), and saute until the fat in the pan is richly perfumed — 90 seconds to 2 minutes.
Push the herbs to one side of the skillet.
Then sprinkle the exposed part of the pan with kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper.
Add the chicken, and let it cook until its underside browns attractively — about 4 minutes.
Then flip the chicken to brown the other side for 2-4 minutes. Take care not to overcook (and thus dry out) the chicken. It is done when the internal temperature achieves 165°F.
Transfer the chicken to a plate or platter.
Discard the herbs — they have given their all.
Now fling 1/3 to 1/2 cup dry French vermouth into the skillet. If you don’t have vermouth, and if you are not willing to buy it, you can substitute any good dry white wine.
As the vermouth bubbles in the hot pan, stir it about with a wooden spoon or heat-proof spatula to pick up any bits of chicken that have stuck to the pan. The stuck-on pieces are loaded with flavor!
After the vermouth has boiled and reduced for about 1 minute, toss in a big pat (a generous tablespoon) of butter. Off heat, swirl the pan until the butter melts. Et voila — we now have a fragrant sauce for our equally-fragrant chicken!
To finish, pour the sauce over the chicken…
And garnish the works with the minced parsley.
I served this perfumed poetry with hot cooked jasmine rice and steamed broccoli florets. You might like to serve the same with mashed potatoes (or Potatoes Anna if you have the time) and steamed carrots.
Think you’ll give this quick and easy Chicken with Herbs and Vermouth a try? Let me know how the dish works out for you!
And now for the hard part — writing out a printable recipe for you. I’ll do my best:
Chicken with Herbs and Vermouth
For the herbs and chicken:
- 5 large leaves each basil and sage; 5 stems each thyme and oregano; a handful of flat-leaved parsley leaves
- A generous tablespoon unsalted butter
- A generous tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 medium-size chicken breasts
For the deglazing sauce
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup dry French vermouth (increase the amount if you want more sauce)
- A generous tablespoon of unsalted butter
Preparing and sauteing the herbs and chicken:
- Mince the parsley; keep other herbs whole. Set aside. Slice the chicken horizontally in half (to make 4 flat-ish pieces). Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and set aside.
- Warm the butter and oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the butter melts, add the herbs (excluding the minced parsley), and saute until the fat in the pan is fragrant -- 90 seconds to 2 minutes.
- Push the herbs to one side of the pan. Scatter the exposed portion of the pan with the salt and pepper.
- Add the chicken, and let cook until the underside browns attractively -- about 4 minutes. Then flip to brown the other side for 2-4 minutes, or until the chicken achieves an internal temperature of 165°F. Transfer the chicken to a platter. Discard the herbs -- they have given up their perfume at this point.
Making the deglazing sauce:
- Tip the vermouth into the hot skillet. As the liquid boils, stir it with a wooden spoon, scraping up any stuck-on bits of chicken. Off heat, add the generous tablespoon of butter, and swirl the pan until the butter melts.
Finishing and serving:
- Pour the sauce over the chicken, and then garnish with the minced parsley. Serve with such accompaniments as jasmine rice and steamed broccoli florets.