This is a great, basic pan-cooked chicken recipe that we’re fancying up with an optional glaze. If you want to use the chicken for something else — like to add to the White-Bean Chili or to top a salad or pasta dish — simply skip the glaze.
Medium-sized skillet (not nonstick)
Tongs or heatproof spatula
- 4 small skinless, boneless chicken breasts (1 to 1 1/2 pounds)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (or whatever kind you like)
Put the honey and mustard on a plate and mix well. Set it aside.
Put the chicken, smooth side up, on the cutting board, season with salt and pepper and generously cover with plastic wrap.
Using the back of the skillet or a rolling pin, pound the chicken until it is the same thickness all over. (This will help it cook quickly and evenly.)
Put the skillet on the stove and turn the heat to high. When the skillet is hot, add the oil. When the oil is hot, carefully add the chicken and cook until golden on the outside and no longer pink on the inside, about 5 minutes per side.
Use tongs or a fork to add the chicken breasts to the honey-mustard mixture, and swirl around until they are coated on both sides.
Serve right away or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days.
Make sure to wash your hands, and any kitchen tool and surfaces, with hot, soapy water after touching raw chicken.
Make it Herby: Add 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary, parsley, cilantro, or basil leaves to the glaze.
Make it Spicy: Add 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes to the glaze.
Make it Limey: Add the juice of 1 fresh lime to the glaze
Swap in chicken thighs for the breasts, but plan to keep them in the pan a few minutes extra as they won’t cook as quickly.