Wednesday, August 22, 2007
SPICY ROAST CHICKEN AND TOMATOES
It may require half an hour of hot oven usage, but this is nonetheless a great summer meal—insanely easy to assemble, and you can leave the kitchen to go lay under the air-conditioner while your food cooks. And the taste: chicken with sweet, rich, roasty tomatoes, plus garlic and red pepper flakes, two of my very favorite flavors? Why didn’t I think of this? I made a half-recipe, using cherry tomatoes on the vine fresh from the farmers' market, and wished I'd made the full four servings so I could enjoy the leftovers the next day. The only thing I want to tinker with is the herb. The original recipe, from Barbara Fairchild in the LA Times, called for fresh marjoram, not my favorite. The Wednesday Chef, from whence I found the recipe, used dried rosemary instead, and so did I, but it didn’t do much for me; I found myself wanting a greener, more assertive herb to match the sweetness of the tomatoes and the spiciness of the red pepper. Fresh rosemary, maybe? Thyme? Or maybe I should try the marjoram after all? I’ll keep you posted, but in the meantime, whatever herb you use: make this, stat.
(Update, September 2009: Fresh rosemary is perfect.)
24 ounces whole cherry tomatoes (about 4 cups), stemmed
¼ cup olive oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
1¼ teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram or rosemary
4 bone-in chicken breasts (10 to 12 ounces each)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
2. Toss the tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, and marjoram or rosemary in a large bowl to combine.
3. Place the chicken on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour the tomato mixture over the chicken, arranging the tomatoes in a single layer on the baking sheet around the chicken. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast until the chicken is cooked through and the tomatoes are blistered, about 35 minutes.
4. Serve the chicken with tomatoes and cooking juices spooned over it.
Time: 45 minutes