Pan-Seared Ranch Chicken
In this recipe, America’s favorite salad dressing serves double-duty: as a creamy, herbaceous sauce and as a marinade. But don’t reach for bottled ranch. Instead, make your own brighter, tangier version using Greek yogurt. Unlike lemon or vinegar-based marinades, which can toughen meat, yogurt tenderizes even the leanest of chicken breasts. When the chicken is seared in a hot pan, the yogurt-mayo coating forms a flavorful, caramelized crust. (It also makes an excellent marinade for fish, pork, shrimp or sturdy vegetables.)
- Serves: 4 persons
- ¾cup Greek yogurt
- ¼cup mayonnaise
- 3tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives, or 1/2 teaspoon dried, plus more for serving
- 3tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill or parsley (or 1/2 teaspoon dried), plus more for serving
- ¾teaspoon garlic powder
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 ½to 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
- 2tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Step 1In a measuring cup or small bowl, stir together the yogurt, mayonnaise, chives, dill and garlic powder; season with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and a few grinds of pepper. Transfer half the ranch to a medium bowl.
Step 2Pat the chicken dry. If thickness varies greatly, pound to an even thickness of about 1/2 inch. Season both sides with salt and pepper, then transfer the chicken to the medium bowl with the ranch and toss to coat. Let sit at least 15 minutes, or refrigerate overnight. (Let it come to room temperature before cooking.)
Step 3Heat the oil in a large (12-inch) nonstick skillet over medium-high. Working in batches if necessary, cook the chicken (with the marinade still on it) until deeply caramelized on the outside, chicken releases from the pan, and its juices run clear, 4 to 6 minutes per side. Turn down the heat if the chicken is browning too quickly.
Step 4If the ranch in the measuring cup is too thick, add a little bit of water to loosen it. (You should be able to drizzle it easily.) Serve chicken with the ranch passed at the table, and more herbs as desired.