I love the simplicity and goodness of roasted chicken. Our local store had bone-in chicken breasts the other day for .99 cents a pound so it was time to make some. There’s something to be said about the added flavors when roasting chicken on the bone and with the skin still on it compared to the boneless, skinless chicken breasts I use for everything else.
The hardest thing about roasting chicken breasts is not drying them out so timing is everything (dark meat is more forgiving). You have to pay attention to the time they are in the oven. Set a timer if you need to but whatever you do, DON’T FORGET the chicken is in the oven.
Roasting chicken pieces on the bone has several advantages. The first, being that it’s generally less expensive than boneless or whole chicken. Quite often you can find it for a dollar a pound or less on sale, making it economical. The second is that you can use the bones, skin (or the skin you don’t eat) and the scraps to make up wonderful chicken stock with. So not only do you get a great meal out of it but you get awesome chicken stock to use at a later date. Just toss the scraps in a pot with onions, garlic, herbs and veggies of your choice; add water and bring to a boil and allow to simmer for at least 30 minutes (the longer the better, I like to do about 2 hours). Cool it down and dump through a strainer to remove the large pieces and you have chicken stock (put in the freezer if not going to use within a week).
The last advantage of roasting chicken is it’s so easy to make and to flavor. You can brine it in salt overnight for added juiciness or just season it up well and cook it. Use simple salt and pepper for seasoning (apply generously if you don’t brine because they have to soak down into the thick meat while cooking) or add a combination of herbs and spices that you like. The chicken in the pictures has a mixture of sea salt, fresh cracked black pepper, garlic and onion powder, and dried thyme. Sometimes I make it spicy with smoked paprika and cayenne to wake up the taste buds. Don’t be afraid to use whatever seasoning you like.
To cook, I start the chicken out in a hot oven-proof pan. First, preheat the oven on to 450°. While the oven is heating, I melt a tablespoon of butter into a couple of tablespoons of olive and bring the pan up to sizzling. Take the prepared chicken breasts and place it skin side down and brown the skin, then rotate the chicken breasts and allow to brown on that side. Transfer the pan to the oven, where you will cook for 15 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 160° for breast meat(thicker pieces will need longer and dark meat usually reads 170°). End with the skin side up on the last turn to have nice brown crispy skins.Pull the meat out and allow to rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving and you’ll find yourself enjoying wonderfully moist and juicy chicken.
That’s all there is to making roasted chicken breasts. If you use a large enough pan, you can also add a mixture of veggies to roast along with the chicken in the oven. We enjoy a mixture of large chopped onions, garlic, potatoes and carrots. Mix them in sea salt, black pepper and a little olive oil and put in the pan around the chicken. It doesn’t hurt if the chicken rests on top of the veggies while cooking. If veggies are not quite finished when chicken is, take chicken out to rest and return veggies to oven for another 5 to 10 minutes, until soft. This method makes an easy one-dish meal that is tasty, healthy, low-fat and budget friendly.
I like to make extra chicken when I’m in the roasting mood, because I can use the chicken in plenty of other dishes during the week for evenings when I need to hurry. It’s also great for sending to work with my husband for lunch. Find out for yourself how easy it is to enjoy the flavors of life with this recipe for roasted chicken breasts.