Friday, January 9, 2009
Roast Chicken Thighs with Tomatoes and Herbs
I've had some really good luck with recipes I've culled from newspapers or their websites. Two of my favorites are The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and The Oregonian. I know there are others I've missed, but the food editors at these two seem to understand the workings of the "real" American kitchen and the woman who cooks there. Lest you think me a slacker, I am an au courant foodie and while I follow the New York Times and other prestigious food pages, I no longer live a New York Times lifestyle. When we left the east coast it was with the intention of simplifying a life that had become overly complicated. So, just as I peel layers of an onion I'm peeling away those layers of my "skin" that represent possessions, habits and ideas that weigh me down. It's amazing how little it takes to live graciously and travel with ease. While I love to cook, I've come to appreciate the merits of fast and easy and a more simplified approach to eating. This recipe which comes from FOODday's Best Recipes for 2008 meets all those requirements. It uses bone-in chicken thighs so it is inexpensive as well. I really like the work these folks do. This is a nice recipe.
Roast Chicken Thighs With Tomatoes and Herbs
3/4 of a large (12-ounce) onion cut in 1/4-inch slices
6 to 8 cloves garlic, crushed but not chopped
1-1/2 pounds cherry or other small tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh marjoram or thyme (divided)
3 pounds bone-in chicken thighs (about 12 medium)
1) Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2) In a large bowl, combine the onion, garlic, tomatoes, olive oil, pepper flakes, 2 tablespoons herbs and 1 teaspoon salt; toss until everything's nicely mixed. Season chicken thighs on both sides with salt.
3) Arrange chicken thighs on two heavy rimmed baking sheets, with space between chicken pieces. Distribute tomato mixture and any juices around chicken so it's in an even layer around but not covering chicken.
4) Roast until chicken is totally tender when pierced with a knife (or reaches 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer), 35 to 45 minutes. During roasting, check that tomato mixture isn't burning. If they're getting too dark, pour in a few spoonfuls of water or chicken broth into the pan.
5) When done, transfer chicken to a serving platter. Put a large sieve or colander over a bowl and carefully scrape tomato mixture into the sieve. Make sure you catch all the juices, which are delicious. Deglaze any browned juices on pans by pouring on a bit of water and scraping to dissolve. Add this liquid to vegetable juices already in bowl.
6) Drain vegetables for a few minutes; spoon around chicken. Sprinkle with reserved 1 tablespoon herbs and serve. Pass a bowl of reserved juices at the table to drizzle over chicken and vegetables. Yield: 6 servings.
Recipe and photograph from FOODday.