Monte Cristo Skillet Chicken Recipe is an easy weeknight dinner that is ready in under 30 minutes. Juicy chicken, savory herbs, wine, garlic, and shallot make this dish a classic.
A Quick Chicken Breast Recipe with a Swoon-Worthy Sauce!
I am a huge sucker for a one skillet dinner. If it’s ready in 30 minutes or less, I am going to try that recipe. And if it’s good, it will become a regular at our dinner table! Sometimes with the everyone’s crazy schedule, homework, you need a dinner that you know is easy to prepare and will please the picky eaters in your house. We all have one!
This dish checks all of those boxes, and then some. It’s an upscale recipe that reminds me of classic French and Italian dishes (that’s probably where the name comes from: Monte Cristo is an island off of the coast of Italy.) This juicy chicken and complex, savory pan sauce are easy to make, and a breeze to clean up because everything is prepared in one skillet.
The Ingredients You’ll Need
This dish really shines because of the pan sauce, made with a medley of flavorful ingredients. Here’s the list in more detail.
- Olive Oil: Extra virgin olive oil, or ghee if you prefer.
- Chicken: Opt for boneless, skinless chicken breasts, or chicken tenders.
- Italian Seasoning: Dry Italian seasoning, or you can substitute a mix of your favorite herbs, like basil, oregano, and rosemary.
- Flour: Gluten-free flour, for coating.
- Garlic: Mince a couple of large garlic cloves – about 1 generous tablespoon.
- Shallot: Peeled and chopped.
- White Wine: A dry white wine, such as a chardonnay, pinot grigio, or sauvignon blanc.
- Chicken Stock: I prefer low sodium chicken stock (or broth).
- Ghee: Also known as clarified butter.
- Lemon: Juice half a lemon. The other half can be cut into wedges or slices, for serving.
- Basil Pesto: Optional (recipe here).
- Grated Parmesan Cheese: This is also optional.
How to Make This Monte Cristo Skillet Chicken Recipe
Now for the cooking method. You will need an ovenproof skillet for this, since it starts out on the stove and finishes up in the oven.
- Prep Chicken. To get started, pat the chicken dry with a paper towel and season with Italian seasoning. Place in the refrigerator, uncovered for 1 hour. This is optional, but leaving the chicken in the refrigerator will allow it to dry on the outside even more, and therefore form a better crust will when you cook it.
- Make the Sauce Mixture. In a small bowl, combine your chicken stock, ghee and wine. Give these a whisk, and then set the bowl aside.
- Brown the Chicken. Next, preheat your oven to 375°F. Heat up your olive oil in a large ovenproof pan over medium-high heat. Dredge each piece of chicken in flour, shaking off any excess, and cook in the hot oil for 3 – 5 minutes per side, or until browned.
- Make the Pan Sauce. Add the shallot and garlic to the skillet and cook for a minute or two. Then add the stock mixture, and whisk while you squeeze in the lemon juice. You want the pan sauce to be bubbling at the edge of the pan.
- Bake! Move the pan to the middle rack of your preheated oven, and bake for 12-15 minutes.
- Finish the Dish. Take the chicken out of the oven, and add a small dollop of basil pesto on top of each piece of chicken (if you’re using pesto). Spoon the pan juices over, sprinkle with parmesan if desired, and serve.
Tips for Success
So there you have it, a classic chicken recipe with tons of fresh, beautiful flavor. These helpful tips will give you the inside info on making the perfect skillet chicken recipe:
- Chill the Chicken: I like to place my chicken back in the fridge uncovered on a plate for at least 30 minutes before I season it – this is optional. I do this because the air circulating in the fridge helps to reduce moisture, which guarantees you a nice crisp crust. Give it a try and let me know if it works for you!
- Don’t Chill the Chicken: If you don’t have time for the chilling step, feel free to just pat the chicken dry with paper towels.
- Crowding the Pan: Be sure not to overcrowd the pan when you brown the chicken. If you do, the chicken will steam and not crisp up.
Yummy Ideas for Serving
This skillet chicken recipe is great with almost any side dish, but it’s extra tasty with something to go with the succulent pan sauce. Try one or more of these recipes to round out your menu.
- Rice: You could go with cauli rice for a low carb option, or follow my Perfect Rice tutorial for easy, fluffy jasmine rice. Yum.
- Brussels Sprouts: Everyone knows these are good for you, but they’re also super tasty if you cook them right. This recipe for Sauteed Brussels Sprouts is a game-changer. No more soggy brussels sprouts – these are lightly caramelized and crisp-tender.
- Salad: Salad is so versatile, and a wonderful way to serve fresh veggies. Throw together some spring mix and a vinaigrette, or for something more special, whip up a Fennel Zucchini Blueberry Salad!
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Leftover Monte Cristo chicken can be stored in your fridge for about four days, sealed in airtight containers. Make sure to refrigerate the sauce, too. Reheat both in a covered skillet over medium-low heat, just until heated through. Don’t overcook, or the chicken will dry out.
Can I Freeze This Skillet Chicken Recipe?
Yes, you can definitely freeze this! Just cool the chicken and sauce down, and transfer to freezer bags. Press out as much air as possible as you seal them, and freeze for up to three months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Monte Cristo Skillet Chicken Recipe
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or ghee
- 1.5 pounds chicken breasts boneless and skinless, or chicken tenders
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- gluten-free flour for coating
- 2 cloves garlic minced (about 1 generous tablespoon)
- 1 shallot chopped
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- ¼ cup low sodium chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon ghee melted
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Basil Pesto optional (recipe here)
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese optional
- Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with Italian seasoning. Place in the refrigerator, uncovered, for 1 hour (this is optional – leaving the chicken in the refrigerator will allow it to dry, and a better crust will form when you cook it).
- In a small bowl, whisk together the chicken stock, ghee and wine. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Heat extra virgin olive oil large oven-ready pan over medium-high heat.
- Dredge the chicken breasts in flour, shaking off excess flour.
- Add chicken to pan, working in batches if necessary to avoid crowding. Cook until lightly browned, about 3-5 minutes. (Chicken should immediately sizzle when added to pan.)
- Flip chicken and ook an additional 3-5 minutes, until browned on both sides.
- Stir in shallots and garlic. Cook a minute or two and add chicken stock mixture.
- While stirring, squeeze in lemon juice. The pan sauce should be bubbling at edge of pan.
- Transfer pan to middle rack of preheated oven and bake for 12-15 minutes.
- Remove pan from oven and add a small dollop of basil pesto to the top of each breast.
- Place chicken in a shallow plate with rim and spoon juice over top.
- Sprinkle with cheese if desired.