Fresh rosemary and a creamy (non-dairy) sauce turn chicken breasts into something special

Lemon Rosemary Chicken Skillet.
Lemon Rosemary Chicken Skillet.PHOTO: WASHINGTON POST

(WASHINGTON POST) - You, the cook, will not have to tell anyone when this simple, one-pan dish is ready. They will be compelled by its compounding, lovely aromas as you add the shallot, garlic and fresh rosemary to a hot skillet gilded with bits of just-seared chicken.

In 10 minutes, broth and coconut milk will cook down to a sauce creamier than you can imagine, and create perhaps more than is necessary to coat the chicken breasts you return to the pan. No matter; you may want to mop up that herby, softly chunky sauce with crusty bread or swirl a starchy side into it or just slurp it with a spoon.

And just when your dinner companion can’t bear another moment of waiting, a finishing sprinkle of fresh rosemary will hit the chicken and waft anew the invitation to come and get it.

Lemon Rosemary Chicken Skillet

Serves two

The simple pan-sauce technique used in this recipe can be tweaked and applied to other meats and proteins cooked in a single skillet. Canned coconut milk and its fat add richness here, but its flavour is not pronounced. Serve with sauteed carrots.

Adapted from The Everything Healthy Meal Prep Book by Tina Chow (Adams Media, 2018).

1 large shallot
Leaves from 1 or 2 stems fresh rosemary
2 cloves garlic
Two 170g boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (no tenderloins attached)
½ tsp kosher salt, or more as needed
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper, or more as needed
2 Tbsp vegetable or grapeseed oil
1 cup chicken broth, preferably no salt added
⅔ cup coconut milk, preferably Aroy-D brand
½ lemon


  1. Finely chop the shallot (to yield at least ¼ cup). Mince the rosemary leaves (to yield at least 1 Tbsp) and the garlic.
  2. If your chicken breast halves are of uneven thickness, place plastic wrap over them on a cutting board and use a rolling pin or mallet to pound them into an even thickness of about 2cm. Season on both sides with half the salt and pepper.
  3. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the chicken and cook for about three minutes on each side, until lightly browned in spots. Transfer to a plate.
  4. Add the shallot to the pan; cook for about two minutes, so it softens, then stir in the garlic and 2 tsp of the rosemary, the broth, coconut milk and the remaining salt and pepper.
  5. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The liquid should reduce to form a thickened sauce.
  6. Squeeze the juice of the lemon half (about 2 Tbsp) into the sauce, then return the chicken to the pan, turning to coat it evenly. Cook for a minute or two to make sure the chicken is cooked through and warm. Taste and add more salt and/or pepper as needed.
  7. Sprinkle the remaining teaspoon of rosemary over each portion and serve hot.