home cooked dinners by the season

Pan Seared Chicken with Rhubarb Thyme Sauce

Pan Seared Chicken with Rhubarb Thyme Sauce

Serves 4


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 5-6 ounces each (see note)
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour, optional (see note)
  • 2-3 tablespoons butter
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion (yellow onion can be used)
  • 2 cups chopped rhubarb (2 medium stalks, about 1/2 pound)
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic (1 medium clove)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 cup chicken broth or stock
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest


Place each chicken breast between two pieces of wax paper or plastic wrap and pound to ½-inch thickness or cut in half widthwise; sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper; dredge in flour and shake off excess.
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter with olive oil. When butter starts to sizzle, add chicken and cook for 3 to 4 minutes (do not move chicken – allow it to brown). Turn chicken and cook until browned on other side, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove chicken to a plate and keep warm (if you do not have a large enough skillet, cook chicken in two batches, dividing butter and olive oil in half for each batch).
Add onion to the same pan (adding additional 1 tablespoon of olive oil if needed) and cook and stir until softened, about 2 minutes, then add garlic and cook and stir an additional 1 minute. Stir in rhubarb and brown sugar, then add chicken broth and thyme; bring to a simmer, then return chicken to the pan (chicken on top of rhubarb), cover partially, and cook on low just until rhubarb is softened and chicken is cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Transfer chicken to serving plates or a platter. Lightly mash part of the sauce with the back of a spoon, leaving some of the rhubarb in the sauce in pieces, then add lemon zest and season with salt and pepper. Spoon sauce over chicken (chicken can also be thinly sliced and sauce spooned on top of it).
Makes 2 cups sauce.


Two large chicken breasts (weighing in the range of 10 ounces each) can be cut in half, lengthwise, and then pounded to get 5-6 ounce size breasts.

Dredging the chicken in flour can be eliminated for those avoiding flour.