Hello! Happy humpday! Are you excited that the week is almost over? I know I am. But! What’s better than a delish dinner to get you over the hump and provide leftovers for the rest of the week? Nothing?! I thought so. Therefore, I give you Baked Chicken with tomatoes and olives! Sounds weird doesn’t it?
Well it’s not. It is in fact a staple in my house and I *think* it could be in yours too. Great for a mid-week hearty meal but also awesome on Sundays for a special dinner.
Its perfect timing for this dish as well as tomatoes, and specifically heirloom tomatoes, are in season. So get to collecting some yummy tomatoes and make this dish!
Something else that makes this dish unique is the combination of flavors. The chicken is marinated in a spicy, garlicy, soy marinate that allows the skin to crisp and blister and the onions, tomatoes, and olives are seasoned simply with fresh herbs (or dry, if that’s what you have) and salt and pepper. It makes for a great combination of spice and herbs!
Now, with regards to the olives, you may be thinking that you can just use any ol’ olive in this dish, and you certainly can give it a try — however, I find that jarred olives (you know the kind with pimentos in them) are too briny for this dish. Castelvetrano Olives are bright green, they’re often referred to as dolce (sweet), and come from Castelvetrano, Sicily. They have a Kermit-green hue, meaty, buttery flesh, and a mild flavor. If you can’t find Castelvetrano Olives (and if I an in Montgomery Alabama then it’s likely you an too….) then you can use another mild olive that isn’t overly salty like a picholine olive.
Castelvetrano Olives [Photograph: Vicky Wasik][/caption]
Regardless of tomato or olive use in this dish, probably the most important part is heat. Heating your oven to 450 degrees will ensure that the chicken is crispy and cooked through in the proper time. Really, from start to finish, this dish should take no more than an hour — and that’s with some wine breaks. 🙂
So I hope you enjoy this baked chicken with tomatoes and olives as we head towards the end of summer — See ya next time!
Baked Chicken with Tomatos and Olives
- 9 garlic cloves divided
- 1 Teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tbsp. soy sauce
- 4 tbsp. olive oil divided, plus more for drizzling
- 1 3½ –4-pound chicken quartered (you can also just purchase skin on chicken quarters and breasts)
- Kosher salt freshly ground pepper
- 1 Small Onion cut into chunks
- 2 pounds tomatoes of all sizes halved, quartered if large
- 3 sprigs thyme
- ⅓ cup Castelvetrano or Picholine olives pitted
- Israeli Couscous or Wild Rice for serving
- Place a rack in top third of oven; preheat to 450°. Finely grate 1 garlic clove into a small bowl and toss with red pepper flake, soy sauce, and 1 Tbsp. oil. Rub all over chicken, then season with salt and black pepper. If you have time, set aside to marinate for 20 minutes. If not, go on to the next steps.
- Toss onion, tomatoes, thyme, olives, 3 Tbsp. oil, and remaining 8 garlic cloves in a baking dish that is large enough to hold the veggies and chicken (about 3 qts); season with salt and black pepper.
- Arrange chicken on top of tomato mixture and roast until deeply browned and cooked through, 40–50 minutes. When chicken is about 5 minutes from being done, prepare the Israeli couscous as described on the package, if using. Season couscous with salt and pepper as desired.
- When chicken temps at 160-165 degrees at the thickest point in the thigh or breast, transfer chicken to a cutting board and let rest 10–15 minutes.
- Carve chicken as desired and serve piled atop couscous or rice with tomato mixture and pan juices spooned over.