It’s hard to beat roast chicken breast and gravy for comfort food. This recipe is easy -only 10 minutes hands on time- and elegant enough for company.
Although I’m a die-hard dark meat fan, I do enjoy this chicken a lot. It reminds me of a turkey dinner. In fact, I often make stuffing on the side, but this time I tried laying the chicken on a Yorkshire pudding made in a pan. Good!
I buy a double/full chicken breast (not cut in two halves) at my local farmer’s market and for some reason it turns out better than a split breast and presents so beautifully when sliced properly (check out the picture below). To make it even juicier and more flavorful, I brine the chicken if I have time. The instructions are included in the recipe – optional but highly recommended.
The gravy is the crowning glory to this dish and adds flavor and yummy-ness for lack of a better word. Ok, I admit I like gravy or sauce with everything. This one is easy using a prepared broth and only takes about 5-6 minutes to make. I like to add sherry (or fortified wine), but you can always replace it with more broth instead. The thyme and green onion add depth. The recipe makes two cups which means plenty of extra to smother side dishes such as Perfect Mashed Potatoes, Homemade Vegetarian Stovetop Stuffing, Vegetable Quinoa Stuffing or Yorkshire Pudding (pictured).
Tailor To Your Taste
- For the chicken:
- Use chicken pieces instead and reduce the cooking time. Instant thermometer should read 165F when done.
- Use rosemary or sage instead of thyme.
- Use your favorite seasoning mix to season the chicken.
- For the gravy:
- Add a 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic when cooking the green onions.
- Omit the sherry/wine and replace with more broth.
- Use rosemary or poultry seasoning instead of thyme if you prefer.
- Add 1-2 teaspoons of unsalted butter to the gravy at the end for added richness or add a splash of cream for creamy richness.
Make Ahead Roast Chicken Breast
- I prefer the chicken fresh, but it can be roasted ahead (slightly under-cook it), then reheated for 10 minutes in a 350F oven. Rest the chicken for 10 minutes, then slice before serving.
- The gravy can be made ahead with oil (instead of fat drippings). To add flavour, whisk in some drippings from the roasted chicken pan when the chicken is done. Keep in mind, however, that the gravy only takes about 5 minutes to make, so I suggest having all the ingredients ready and making it while the chicken is resting.
Easy Roast Chicken Breast and Gravy Recipe
- 1 large double chicken breast i.e. a full breast not split in half (about 2 pounds)
- 0.5 onion, peeled, roughly chopped
- garnish: fresh thyme sprigs or parsley (optional)
- 1 tbsp olive oil or melted butter
- 1/2 tsp EACH, smoked or regular paprika, garlic powder, dried thyme and kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp ground pepper
Gravy (makes 2 cups)
- 3 tbsp fat drippings from roasted chicken (or vegetable oil)
- 2 tbsp finely chopped green onion (about 1 large)
- 3 full/rounded tablespoons flour
- 1/4 cup sherry (or fortified wine, white wine, madiera or dry vermouth)
- 1 can chicken broth (undiluted) Note 1
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 cups cool water; 3 tablespoons kosher salt; 1 tablespoon sugar; 5 peppercorns; 1 garlic clove; and 1 teaspoon of dried herbs of your choice
- Heat oven to 375F.
- BRINE CHICKEN (OPTIONAL): Note 2
- PREPARE CHICKEN: In a small bowl, mix all seasoning ingredients. Rub over chicken, including under the skin (gently separate skin from meat). Place onions in centre of small roasting pan lined with foil and sprayed with oil. Add thyme (or rosemary sprigs) on top if you have. Place chicken breast on top of onions and herbs.
- ROAST: Roast chicken in oven for 35-45 minutes, depending on size of breast, or until instant thermometer reads 165F. Remove chicken from oven, transfer to plate and loosely cover with foil to keep warm and rest. Reserve roasted onions for serving.
- MAKE GRAVY: While chicken is resting, put 2-3 tablespoons of fat drippings from roasting pan into a small saucepan. (add oil if you don't have enough). Heat to medium high. Add green onions and cook for 1-2 minutes. Stir in flour, reduce heat to medium and cook for 2 minutes. (It should be a loose paste. If too dry, add a bit more oil). Add sherry and cook another 2 minutes, stirring. Add broth and water and whisk/stir until smooth. Add herbs. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- SLICE AND SERVE: For an elegant presentation, slice each half of breast off the bone, then slice them horizontally into 1/2 inch slices (see pictures). Transfer to serving plate along with roasted onions. Drizzle on gravy. Garnish with thyme sprigs or parsley. Pass extra gravy for mashed potatoes, stuffing or Yorkshire pudding (as pictured) if desired.
- For gravy, I like to use full strength broth (like Campbells) which means you add your own water. This way I control the depth of flavour. Low salt broth is fine. If you are using homemade broth or ready-to-use broth in a box, omit the water in recipe and add an extra 1/2 cup of broth. You can also substitute broth for the sherry/wine.
- To Brine Chicken (optional): For more flavourful, juicy chicken, brine it if you have time. Put all brine ingredients in a ziploc sealed bag or container. Mix well. Submerge chicken fully in liquid. Let brine for 3-6 hours in fridge. Then rinse and pat chicken dry.
Here’s a whole roast chicken recipe you might like – also comfort-food style: