Sometimes the simple recipes are the best ones. This is not a fancy meal, but it’s one of my favorites to cook on cold winter nights. The chicken and gravy come together really quickly, and I like to serve it with smashed potatoes (skin-on boiled potatoes mashed with a little butter and milk) and some steamed broccoli (get it in the bag at the grocery store and steam it in the microwave). This meal is a James family favorite.
Pan Roasted Chicken with Gravy
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken broth
¼ cup milk (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
For the chicken:
Preheat oven to 400°. Dry chicken breasts with paper towels. Salt and pepper both sides. Drizzle olive oil in a hot skillet and cook chicken breasts on one side for 3-4 minutes, or until very brown. Don’t mess around with them while they are browning or they won’t get good and crusty. Flip chicken and immediately put the whole skillet in the oven for 5-8 minutes or until the chicken feels firm to the touch (use a meat thermometer to be certain, 165° for chicken). Remove chicken from skillet, cover with foil, and let the chicken rest for 10 minutes or so while you make the gravy.
For the gravy:
To the skillet, add the butter and flour. Stir for about 2 minutes, or until butter is melted and the flour is lightly brown.
Then, add the chicken stock and scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release all the bits of cooked chicken. Whisk the gravy to get the lumps out and raise the heat and let the sauce boil to reduce and thicken. Add a little milk if it gets too thick. When it’s the consistency you like, taste for seasonings and add salt and pepper. Slice the chicken at an angle (to make it look pretty) and serve the gravy over the chicken. Serve with mashed potatoes or rice.