- 3 to 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, total 2 ½ pounds
- 1 1/2 Teaspoon coarse (kosher) salt
- 1 Teaspoon espelette pepper or sweet paprika
- 2 Tablespoons minced fresh herbs, such as a combination of thyme, tarragon, oregano (or 1 tablespoon dried mixed herbs)
- 1 Teaspoon minced fresh sage or ½ teaspoon ground sage
- 1 Tablespoon safflower, sunflower or expeller-pressed canola oil
- 1 or 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small bits or extra-virgin olive oil
- Sprigs of fresh herbs
Pat chicken dry.
Remove the chicken tenders from the underside of the breasts and save for another use.
Place one breast half on the cutting board.
Using a very sharp knife, butterfly the chicken as follows: Starting at the thickest side, slice the chicken horizontally in half cutting nearly three-fourths of the way through to the other side. Open the chicken like a book (or a butterfly) and cover with a sheet of plastic wrap. Pound until uniformly about ½ inch thick. Cut in half if desired. Place on a baking sheet and repeat with remaining chicken breasts.
Mix salt, espelette pepper and herbs in small dish.
Sprinkle on all sides of chicken. (If working ahead, refrigerate loosely covered up to a day.)
Otherwise, leave on the counter in a cool kitchen for up to 30 minutes.
Heat a large cast-iron or nonstick griddle (or large skillet) over high heat until a drop of water sizzles on contact. Turn on the exhaust fan.
Reduce heat under the griddle to medium-high.
Add about 1 teaspoon of safflower oil then immediately add the chicken in a single, uncrowded layer. (Work in batches if necessary.)
Cook, without turning, until golden brown, about 4 minutes.
Use tongs to flip chicken and cook second side until golden, about 3 minutes more.
Remove chicken to a platter.
Repeat with more oil and remaining chicken.
Dot the top with bits of butter or drizzle with olive oil.
Repeat to cook remaining chicken.
Garnish with herbs.