Succulent Crispy Flattened Chicken is an old style Italian preparation that usually is made with a whole (partially de-boned) bird. This breast and wing version is simple to make on the stove top and is a great way to change up your weekly chicken breast rotation. The recipe is easily halved for smaller meals.
You may split the breasts before cooking if you prefer. I did.
- 2 whole boneless whole chicken breasts (skin on and the first wing bone in, if possible)
- 3 clove garlic (peeled and thinly sliced)
- 8 sage leaves
- kosher salt (as needed)
- freshly cracked black pepper (as needed)
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Lift up the skin on the cut side of the chicken breasts and insert the garlic slices. Distribute them evenly under the skin, taking care not to break the skin. Rub the sage leaves between your hands to release their oils and insert 4 of the leaves evenly under the skin of both breasts with the garlic cloves. Pull the skin back over the breast as completely as possible. If the chicken has not been brined, salt and pepper liberally on both sides. Wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat until hot. Add the olive oil and heat to just below smoking. Season the skin side of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and place skin-side down in the pan. Season the other side of the breasts. Turn the heat down to medium low and place another heavy pan on top of the breasts, so that they are pressed flat into the pan. If the second pan is not heavy, weight it with canned tomatoes or clean bricks. Make sure the weight is evenly distributed over all the breasts. They must cook evenly and at the same time. Cook until very brown and crisp, 12 to 15 minutes.
Turn the breasts over and cook for 8 more minutes, or until cooked through. Use the weight system again if need to make sure they sit flat. Remove from the heat, let stand 5 minutes, then slice and serve, or cut each breast in half and serve.