The Meal Planner


With this simple and elegant rustic dish, Jamie does it again. There are few ingredients, minimal prep and yet everything combines into this glorious, fall off the bone simple supper. Squeeze the roasted garlic out of their skins for a mellow sweetness and serve the whole thing over spaghetti tossed with parmesan and parsley.


Recipe from Jamie's Dinners: The Essential Family Cookbook
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Serves 4


4 chicken legs with backs attached (or 8 drumsticks or thighs)
Salt and pepper
A big bunch of fresh basil, leaves picked, stalks finely chopped
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (or use plum tomatoes quartered or a mixture of both)
1 whole bulb of garlic, broken up into cloves
1 fresh red chili, finely chopped
Olive oil

Optional: 1 14 oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
Optional: 2 handfuls of new potatoes, scrubbed


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides and place them in a large oven-proof pan in one layer. Throw in all the basil stalks as well as the tomatoes. Scatter the garlic cloves into the pan with the chopped chili and drizzle over some olive oil. Mix around a bit, pushing the tomatoes underneath the chicken.

Place in the oven for 1.5 hours until the chicken skin is crisp and the meat falls off the bone. You could even broil the dish for a couple minutes at the end to get a nice golden color on the chicken. As an option, you can add some drained cannellini beans or some sliced new potatoes to the pan and cook them with the chicken.

When you remove the pan from the oven scatter over the chopped fresh basil leaves and serve.

I like to serve this with Parmesan-Parsley Spaghetti. To make: Boil spaghetti, drain when al dente. Toss with a tablespoon of butter, a handful of grated parmesan and a handful of finely chopped parsley. Stir together and serve as a bed for the chicken and tomatoes.

Click here for printable version of Tender and Crisp Chicken with Sweet Tomatoes
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THE RESULTS?
Loved the simple freshness of this dish. The tomatoes were sweet and the juices create a sort of thin sauce to pour over pasta, while the chicken is falling off the bone and infused with flavor. I used tomatoes from the grocery store, but if you had garden tomatoes I bet this would be out of this world. I served this to my Mother-in-Law for Mother's Day dinner and it was beautiful and rustic.

I did make one minor change to Jamie's recipe. He tosses the basil leaves in with the tomatoes and chicken at the beginning of the roasting time. At the end of the hour and a half the basil leaves are black. Their pungent flavor gets lost in the cooking, so I amended the recipe to toss them in at the end. That was my only complaint with the recipe.


Meal Ideas:

  • Chicken and Tomatoes + Parmesan-Parsley Spaghetti + Salad dressed with Balsamic & Olive Oil
  • Chicken and Tomatoes + Oven Roasted Potatoes + Braised Leeks
  • Chicken and Tomatoes + Mashed Potatoes + Cauliflower

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2 Responses
  1. Jennifer Says:

    Oh my...I have fresh cherry tomatoes...and basil... from my garden right now...I am definitly trying this recipe this week.

    I really love this blog, and am so glad you're back to posting!


  2. Anonymous Says:

    I LOVE this recipe! The chicken gets so crispy and juicy and flavorful and perfect, and the tomatoes and garlic get really sweet and delicious! The little bit of heat from the chili makes this really amazing!!

    I love your blog and have made tons of the recipes you've posted. Thanks for the great ideas, and please keep posting!!