Roasted chicken breast with creamy garlic & herb sauce

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Chicken with Sauce

The only saucy chicken breast recipe you’ll ever need…

This is definitely one of my all time favourite go-to chicken recipes when I want a pretty flash meal, but don’t have much time to fluff around! The chicken is beautifully tender and juicy, the sauce rich and mouthwatering. I’d go for skin-on chicken if you can – not only is it cheaper, it’ll give the dish more flavour. You end up rendering a lot of the fat out when you sear it at the start anyway, and it goes nice and crispy. I like serving this with a fresh salad and crusty garlic bread in summer, or either roasted potatoes/pumpkin mash/mashed potatoes and seasonal veges in winter. Don’t skip the resting of the chicken – or it will lose all it’s juiciness when you cut into it!

Serves 4-6
Prep time – 10 minutes
Cooking time – 35 minutes

Ingredients

4-5 chicken breasts (I prefer skin-on)
Oil for frying (grape seed, rice bran or light olive oil)
25g butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2-3 shallots, minced (or ½ onion)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ cup white wine
1 ½ cups chicken stock (salt-reduced if possible)
¾ cup cream
¼ cup chopped fresh chopped herbs – I like thyme leaves, sage leaves, finely chopped rosemary
Greens or salad, to serve

Method

Preheat the oven to 210c fan bake.

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then season both sides with salt and pepper.

Heat a large frying pan over a high heat. When the pan is very hot, add 1 tbsp of the oil and place the chicken (2-3 at a time) skin-side down in the hot pan. Fry for a few minutes until the skin is golden brown and very crispy. Turn over and fry for another couple of minutes to brown the bottom.

Transfer the chicken to a roasting tray and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes depending on how large the chicken breasts are (generally if your chicken isn’t free range, the breasts will be bigger (around 250-300g), so cook for 13 minutes. Free-range ones are much smaller (about 150g), and only need 9 minutes. Remove from the oven, cover loosely with foil and let it rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.

While the chicken is in the oven, tip the excess oil from the chicken pan with paper towels, but leave the crispy browned bits there. Reduce the heat to low and add the butter and oil. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes. You want it very soft and golden, not crispy and dark.

Add the wine to the pan, turn up the heat and let it bubble rapidly for 30 seconds to cook off the alcohol. Add the stock and herbs and simmer until the liquid has reduced by about two-thirds (5-10 minutes depending on how hot your pan is).

Add the cream and simmer until the sauce has thickened to a lovely sauce consistency and gone golden brown. Make sure you add the juices from the roasting tray once the chicken is rested as well. Taste, and if need be, season with salt and pepper.

Slice the chicken and arrange on plates (I’d warm the plates if you’re serving the meal with veges as opposed to a salad). Pour some sauce over and garnish with a few extra fresh herbs if you like. Add your choice of sides (potatoes, kumara, pasta, rice) and tuck in.