Makes 2 servings.
2 medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and white pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil or very mild olive oil
1/2 cup chicken stock or chicken stock and dry white wine
4 or 5 sprigs of fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1/3 cup heavy cream
Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Place each breast between two pieces of plastic wrap or waxed paper and lightly pound the thick end to make breast more equal in thickness.
Over medium-high heat, heat a 10-inch skillet until the upper edge of the pan feels hot to a quick touch. Remove from the heat; pour in the oil and tilt to run oil over the pan. Return to the heat and immediately place the breasts into the pan with the rib side up. The breasts will sizzle and they will be stuck.
This is a Zen moment. Think happy thoughts. Be at peace with the world. Twiddle your thumbs. Do anything but don't touch the chicken. After about 90 seconds which will seem like an eternity, the breasts will lightly brown and release all by themselves. Turn each over. Again, they will be stuck. Wait again until they brown and release, and then remove them to a platter.
Pour the stock into the hot pan. Scrape the pan to loosen any stuck-on particles. Add the thyme, and bay leaf. Boil on high heat and reduce until a only few tablespoons remain. Stir in the heavy cream and continue to reduce until the sauce thickens. Remove the bay leaf. Slice each fillet at an angle into 3 pieces. Spoon the sauce over the fillets and serve immediately.