Bone-in, unskinned chicken breast halves work well for roasting because the meat stays moist in the oven's high heat. Substitute dried apricot halves for dried plums, if you prefer.
Total time: 50 minutes.
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 bone-in chicken breast halves (about 2 pounds)
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
8 garlic cloves, peeled
4 large shallots, peeled and halved (about 8 ounces)
2 thyme sprigs
1 large fennel bulb, cut into 8 wedges
16 pitted dried plums
3/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth, divided
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 450º.
Drizzle oil in a small roasting pan or the bottom of a broiler pan. Place pan in oven 5 minutes or until oil is hot. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place chicken, skin sides down, in pan. Arrange garlic, shallots, thyme sprigs, and fennel around chicken; sprinkle vegetables with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Bake at 450º for 20 minutes. Remove pan from oven. Turn chicken over; stir vegetables. Add plums to pan. Bake an additional 15 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken and vegetable mixture from pan; discard thyme sprigs. Discard skin. Loosely cover chicken and vegetable mixture; keep warm.
Place pan over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 cup broth and wine, stirring to loosen browned bits. Combine flour and remaining 1/4 cup broth, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Add flour mixture to pan; stir until well blended. Bring to a boil; cook for 1 minute or until slightly thick. Stir in chopped thyme, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Serve sauce with the chicken and vegetable mixture.
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I've made this several times and it always comes out great. Note to self: don't add cooking time even if the breasts are large - as written is perfect. Tonight I served this with roasted garlic couscous but mashed potatoes would be awesome too. The gravy is easy and makes the dish. You don't even miss the chicken skin.