Crispy-Skin Chicken Breasts with Warm Mushroom Salad

This easy, succulent chicken dish is perfect for cozy evenings. The secret to keeping the chicken juicy is leaving on the skin, which helps prevent the meat from drying out during cooking. The accompanying mushrooms are sauteed until tender and juicy, then tossed in a Dijon-thyme vinaigrette for extra lusciousness. The addition of baby spinach and arugula makes this a complete meal.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 40 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Season the chicken all over with salt, pepper, smoked paprika and the lemon zest.
  2. In a large cast-iron skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the skillet skin-side down. Lower the heat to medium and cook until the skin is browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken skin-side up to the prepared baking sheet. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of one breast registers 155 degrees F, about 20 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and let rest for 5 minutes. (The internal temperature will rise to about 165 degrees F during resting.)
  3. Meanwhile, in the same skillet, melt the butter with the rendered chicken fat over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Season the mushrooms with salt and pepper. Transfer to a large bowl and tent with foil.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar, shallot, mustard, thyme and honey together. Gradually whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil; season the dressing with salt and pepper.
  5. Transfer the mushrooms to a serving bowl. Add half the dressing and mix well. Add the spinach and arugula and the remaining dressing and toss to coat. Transfer the salad and chicken to a platter. Serve with the lemon wedges. 

Cook’s Note

If you can't find boneless, skin-on chicken breast halves, you can buy bone-in, skin-on breasts (sometimes called split chicken breasts) and prepare them yourself by slipping a sharp slicing knife between the meat and bones and gently separating them.