Who doesn’t love a Sunday roast? The trouble is, if you’re just cooking for one it can seem like a lot of effort, a lot of waste, or both! But you can achieve the results of a delicious roast chook in a single serve by using a skin-on chicken breast instead. I brine mine, for the perfectly moist meat we’re after in a roast, and pair it with a few of my favourite veggies, done simply, and a tasty sage butter.


  • For the chicken

  • 1 skin-on chicken breast

  • 1 tsp sea salt

  • 1 tsp brown sugar

  • 2 thyme sprigs

  • 2 small cloves garlic

  • 5-6 black peppercorns

  • 1 cup boiling water

  • For the sage butter

  • 40g unsalted butter, cubed

  • 5-6 sage leaves

  • To serve

  • 1 small parsnip, scrubbed and roughly chopped

  • 1/2 fennel bulb, ends trimmed and thickly sliced

  • 1 leek, ends trimmed and thickly sliced

  • 1 tb extra virgin olive oil

  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste


  • 1.

    Brining your chicken breast is optional, and may seem excessive. But roasting such a small piece of chicken can result in a drier meat than you’re used to if you usually use the whole bird. So, for that reason I like to do it, and enjoy the full effect of the Sunday comfort meal. To do it, pour a cup of boiling water over the sea salt, brown sugar, thyme, garlic, and peppercorns. Stir until it’s all dissolved, then leave until it returns to room temperature.

  • 2.

    Place your chicken breast in a sandwich bag, and pour over the cooled brine. Remove the extra air from the bag, seal, and leave to brine for 45 minutes in the fridge. Make sure the chicken is submerged in the brine.

  • 3.

    Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

  • 4.

    In a bowl, place the fennel, parsnip, and leek as well as a tablespoon of olive oil. Toss to ensure the veggies are coated, and then season and transfer to a roasting tray.

  • 5.

    Transfer to the oven.

  • 6.

    Take your brining chicken from the fridge. Drain, and remove any herbs and spices sitting on the chicken breast. Place to one side.

  • 7.

    In a heavy-based fry pan, melt the butter over a medium heat and then add the sage leaves. Cook for 4-5 minutes, swirling continuously, until the sage leaves are crispy and the butter has browned. Pour into a ramekin or small container.

  • 8.

    Add a teaspoon of the sage butter back into the frypan, over a high heat.

  • 9.

    Sear the chicken breast, skin-on side first, for 1-2 minutes on each side. This will seal the juices in and help keep it tender.

  • 10.

    After the vegetables have been cooking for about 10-15 minutes, add the chicken breast on top of them, and pour over half the remaining sage butter.

  • 11.

    Return to the oven for 20-25 minutes until the vegetables are tender and the chicken cooked through.

  • 12.

    Pour over the last of the sage butter prior to serving

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