Chicken Breasts with White Wine Pan Sauce with Crème Fraîche and Spring Herbs


This simple white wine pan sauce enriched with créme fraîche and a generous handful of tender fresh herbs turns pan-roasted chicken breasts into a special meal.

Chicken Breasts with White Wine Pan Sauce with Crème Fraîche and Spring Herbs
Photo: Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Micah Morton / Prop Styling by Audrey Davis
Total Time:
45 mins

Turn an everyday pan-roasted chicken breast into a restaurant-quality meal with the lessons here on how to make a pan sauce. Simply pan-roast airline chicken breasts, set them aside to rest, and then, while the chicken is resting, use the drippings to build the flavor-packed white wine pan sauce, which comes together in about 10 minutes and delivers an elegant, silky texture. Stir in the tender fresh herbs — we like tarragon, dill, and chives here — and lemon at the end, so their flavors remain bright.

The delicate flavors of the white wine pan sauce are also a good pair for thick fillets of trout, salmon, or halibut, which may be substituted for the chicken breasts. To make this pan sauce using other proteins, start from step 2, working with 1 tablespoon of reserved drippings, and proceed as written. 

RELATED: Cooking with Wine


  • 4 (10-ounce) skin-on airline chicken breasts

  • 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste

  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil (such as grapeseed)

  • ¼ cup sliced spring onion bulb (from 1 large spring onion), sliced green garlic bulbs, or sliced ramp bulb and greens

  • cup dry white wine

  • 1 cup chicken stock or lower-sodium chicken broth

  • 2 tablespoons crème fraîche

  • 3 tablespoons chopped mixed tender fresh herbs (such as tarragon, dill, chives, and parsley)

  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice


  1. Sprinkle chicken evenly with 1 1/4 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium. Cook chicken, skin side down, until skin is golden brown and crispy, 15 to 18 minutes. Flip the chicken breasts and cook skin side up, until a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of chicken registers 160°F, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Reserve 1 tablespoon of drippings in skillet.

  2. Heat reserved drippings in skillet over medium-high. Add spring onion; cook, stirring often, until softened, about 1 minute. Add wine (mixture will immediately come to a simmer). Simmer over medium-high, stirring occasionally to loosen browned bits on bottom of skillet, until reduced by about half, 1 to 2 minutes. Add stock; cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture has reduced to about 2/3 cup and just barely coats back of a spoon, 4 to 6 minutes. Reduce heat to low; stir in crème fraîche until just melted, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat; stir in herbs and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Serve alongside cooked chicken.

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