Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Roast Chicken Breast for Two

The long hot days of summer are behind us.  It is time to turn on our ovens again!  Fall has arrived bringing with it shorter days with a cold snap in the air. 

I saw this method of roasting chicken in the South of France on the sidewalk in front of a grocer.
 A tall stainless box that was about the size of a small coat closet with glass on all sides filled with whole chickens vertically stacked on a skewer about five high.  I watched their juices slowly descend basting each chicken from the top down until reaching its final destination.  To my surprise the final destination was a pan filled with potatoes slowly cooking in the rendered chicken drippings.  Delicious, in a rather disgusting way.  This whole chicken scene intrigued me and made me hungry.  I ordered me up a chicken but passed on the potatoes thinking that I may regret the rich indulgence later in the day.

This is a much healthier way of faking the traditional roasting method that I saw while still flavoring the veggies with lean chicken breast that give off just enough drippings to get the job done.  These steamed and roasted vegetables are a delicious side dish with wonderful caramelized tips.

Roasted chicken breasts make for a quick and easy fall dinner that cooks up in the oven in 25 – 30 minutes.  I build a base of veggies to place my chicken on to complete my meal.  The veggies might be the best part, they are quite tasty.  No fuss and only one pan that can be lined with foil for easy clean up.

I prefer to roast chicken breast that have both the bone and skin still on.   They each have a purpose in keeping the chicken moist.  The bone protects the meat from the bottom, while the skin protects the top, doing double duty as a self-baster for the chicken as it cooks leaving behind a beautifully brown chicken that is deliciously juicy.
METHOD

Season chicken with kosher salt, black pepper, fresh garlic and olive oil; set aside.

Meanwhile cut up your veggies building a base to put your chicken on.  (potatoes, carrots, green beans, onions).  Almost any vegetable would roast well with this dish.  But I would choose no more than three or you may over power your dish.  Season with salt and pepper.

Place your chicken on your veggies and roast in a 400 – 425 degree oven for 25 – 30 minutes.  You will get a browner skin with a higher temp.

Cooking times vary with ovens and size. 
This is my general rule for oven roasting chicken breast;
BONELESS and SKINLESS
Large - 20 min.
Med - 15 min.
Small - 10 min.
BONE IN with SKIN
Large - 35 min.
Med - 25 min.
Small - 20 min.

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