Sunday, February 28, 2010

Simple Roast Chicken

Last night I made a simple Roasted Chicken Breast using boneless - skinless chicken. It was tender and juicy, seasoned lightly and perfect for a quick and easy meal. My husband loves to eat this plain without the gravy. But my daughter loves the gravy.

Getting the chicken ready...
I picked up four large (I always make enough for leftovers) boneless skinless chicken breast at my local meat counter. I rinsed them and patted them dry with a paper towel. Then I generously salted them with kosher salt and black pepper on both sides. In a bowl large enough to hold them I added 2 T. of olive oil, a pinch of thyme and 2 cloves of garlic pressed through a garlic press (if you don’t have one just mince the garlic) and blended the oil and garlic together. Then I tossed the chicken in the garlic oil and let them sit in the seasonings for about 30 min.

I made sure the rack was in the middle position then preheated the oven to 400 degrees and let the chicken cook for 20 minutes. Then I took them out of the oven and put them in a separate plate to let them rest for about 10-15 minutes so the juices could settle back into the chicken before slicing.

Making the gravy...
While the chicken was resting I drained the juices out of the pan into a 2 cup measuring cup then added enough water to make 2 cups and set it aside. I then slowly melted ¼ cup (1/2 stick) of butter (I know, more butter) in a sauce pan and added ¼ c. flour to make a roux. When the flour and butter were well blended I added the 2 cups of liquid (chicken drippings and water) and allowed it to thicken. I seasoned it with kosher salt and black pepper - with a dash of white pepper. I also took the juices that the chicken released while resting and added it to the gravy before slicing the chicken.

When the gravy thickened and was seasoned properly I ladled a thin layer on to the plate, sliced the chicken and placed it fanned out on the gravy. Then I sprinkled a touch of kosher salt over the dish to enhance the flavor. I like to serve the gravy under the main ingredient when trying to keep it simple and light for my husband. For my daughter I need to add more gravy over the top. Chicken for all generations.

The leftovers can be made into a yet another quick meal like chicken salad, stir fry, soup or a salad topper.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Cooking times vary with ovens and size.
This is my general rule for oven roasting chicken breast;

Large, boneless & skinless 20 min.
Med, bonesless & skinless 15 min.
Small, boneless & skinless 10 min.

Large, bone in with skin 35 min.
Med, bone in with skin 25 min.
Small, bone in with skin 20 min.

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