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Roast Chicken Breast With Gravy

It’s hard to beat a roast chicken breast dinner with 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 you can never go wrong with mashed potatoes or these super easy potato knishes.

Roast Chicken Breast and Gravy on plate with yorkshire pudding and peas

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 boned and sliced properly. I leave it on the bone to roast because bone-in, skin on chicken is more flavorful.

To make it juicier and even 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, adding depth and yummy-ness for lack of a better word. Plain chicken is pretty bland without it in my opinion. 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, or Vegetable Quinoa Stuffing.

Tailor To Your Taste

Here are a few variations to consider for this easy baked chicken breast with gravy.

  • For the chicken:
    • Use chicken pieces instead and reduce the cooking time. Instant thermometer should read 165F when done and rested.
    • 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 and hour or two ahead (slightly under-cook it), then reheated whole for 10 minutes in a 350F oven.  Rest the chicken for 10 minutes, then slice before serving.
  • To make the chicken a day ahead, follow the turkey make ahead instructions in tips on keeping foods warm.
  • The gravy can be made ahead with oil (instead of fat drippings).  To add flavor, 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.
  • Other ways to use make ahead roast chicken breast
chicken Breast, oil, seasonings, fresh thyme
whole chicken breast, onion, fresh thyme, olive oil, smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, pepper
seasoned Chicken Breast and Gravy
season chicken breast to prepare for roasting
Roast Chicken Breast sliced off bone on cutting board
slice both halves off the bone once rested after roasting
gravy ingredients - flour, broth, thyme, butter, salt pepper, green onion
gravy ingredients: chicken broth, green onion, fresh thyme, butter, sherry (optional), seasonings
roux for gravy with butter, flour, green onion in pot
make a roux for the gravy with butter flour and green onions
Gravy in pot
stir in broth and seasonings and cook for a few minutes until thickened and smooth.
Easy Elegant Roast Chicken Breast and Gravy
slice each half horizontally and plate slices

Roast Chicken Breast and Gravy on cutting board with small gravy boat on side p

Roast Chicken Breast and Gravy on cutting board with small gravy boat on side and roasted onions
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5 from 12 votes

Roast Chicken Breast with Gravy

It's hard to beat a roast chicken breast dinner with gravy for comfort food. This recipe is easy - only 10 minutes hands-on time - and elegant enough for company.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time45 mins
resting time10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 3
Author: Cheryl

Ingredients

  • 1 large double chicken breast i.e. a full breast not split in half (about 2.0-2.5 pounds)
  • 1/2 large onion, peeled, roughly chopped
  • garnish: fresh thyme sprigs or parsley (optional)

Chicken Seasoning

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or melted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon EACH, smoked or regular paprika, garlic powder, dried thyme and kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

Gravy (makes 2 cups)

  • 3 tablespoon fat drippings from roasted chicken (or vegetable oil)
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped green onion (about 1 large)
  • 3 tablespoon flour (rounded/full tbsp)
  • 1/4 cup sherry (or fortified wine, white wine, madiera or dry vermouth)
  • 1 can (14 ounce) chicken broth (undiluted) Note 1
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Brine (optional)

  • 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 (simpler version: use just the water and salt)

Instructions

  • 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 35-50 minutes, depending on size of breast, or until instant thermometer reads 160F (it will rise to 165F with resting). Remove chicken from oven, transfer to plate and loosely cover with foil to keep warm and rest.
    Onions: if desired, increase oven temperature to 425F, pour out most of pan grease (leave a bit) and put back pan with onions to brown for 10 minutes while you make gravy and rest chicken.
  • 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. Tip: If you like your gravy browner, add a teaspoon of light soy sauce.
  • SLICE AND SERVE: For an elegant presentation, slice each half of breast off the bone, then slice them horizontally into 1/4-1/2 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 or stuffing if desired.
3

Notes

  • For gravy, I like to use full strength broth (like Campbell's) which means you add your own water. This way I control the depth of flavor. 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 flavorful, juicy chicken, brine it if you have time. Put all brine ingredients (or just salt and water) in a ziploc sealed bag or container. Mix well. Submerge chicken fully in liquid. Let brine in fridge for 2-5 hours in fridge. Then rinse and pat chicken dry.
  • Make Ahead
    • I prefer the chicken fresh, but it can be roasted and hour or two ahead (slightly under-cook it), then reheated whole for 10 minutes in a 350F oven.  Rest the chicken for 10 minutes, then slice before serving.
    • To make the chicken a day ahead, follow the turkey make ahead instructions in tips on keeping foods warm
    • The gravy can be made ahead with oil (instead of fat drippings).  To add flavor, 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.
 
Nutrition values do not include brining the chicken before roasting. Brining will not add calories, but it will increase the sodium value. 

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Roast Chicken Breast with Gravy
Amount Per Serving (3 g)
Calories 324 Calories from Fat 216
% Daily Value*
Fat 24g37%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 39mg13%
Sodium 430mg19%
Potassium 188mg5%
Carbohydrates 9g3%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 14g28%
Vitamin A 201IU4%
Vitamin C 6mg7%
Calcium 20mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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This recipe, initially posted in 2017, has been updated with new information and pictures. 

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