Starting this blog has led me down a path of self reflection that I didn’t quite expect. Sure, I’ve realized that I cannot cook a single savory dish in the summer without tomatoes (can you blame me?) but I’ve uncovered a little bit more that I’m often tempted to share. I wanted, and still want, this to be a place where I can explore and write about food and cooking. But, by default blogs inevitably wind up being about me, me, me.
I’m having a hard time concentrating on the recipe today, forgive me. My little corner of world has been a little off as of late. No matter, onto tastier things. Let’s talk about why we’re here…the chicken! the tomatoes! the potatoes! the one pot dinner! Jamie at Home has stolen my heart yet again. (By the way, have you watched this show yet? It’s on the Cooking Channel. I’ll wait here while you go add it to your TiVo. There, isn’t that better? You’ll thank me.) I found this recipe in his “potato” episode but I would have pegged it for the tomato one. Because tomatoes are special around here at starting in december (as we’re all well aware).
But, those potatoes? They’re no wallflower. They get precooked and smashed into the baking dish while they are still warm. Coated in an oregano vinaigrette and burst tomato juices they get wonderfully crispy and golden in the oven. They easily steal the show from the chicken, which doesn’t embarrass itself either. This dinner would be an easy make ahead dish and a crowd pleaser. Although next time, I’ll bump up the flavor by adding some heat from either onions or chilies. Or both. Watch out taste buds — this self reflection business might lead to some spicy dinners. And, dear reader, more tomatoes.
crispy sticky chicken thighs with squashed new potatoes and tomatoes
adapted from Jamie at Home: Cook Your Way to the Good Life
yields about 4 servings
1 pound cherry tomatoes (or other small, colorful varieties)
1-3/4 pounds new potatoes, cleaned
4 boned chicken thighs, skin on
salt and pepper
1 bunch fresh oregano, leaves picked
red wine vinegar
Bring a large pot of water to boil. With a knife, prick each of the tomatoes with a small incision. When the water is boiling, add the tomatoes for about 1 minute. Drain the tomatoes in a colander. While the tomatoes cool, add the potatoes to the same pot and cover with water by an inch or two. Bring the potatoes to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until you can stick a paring knife into the potato and it does not resist. When fully cooked, drain in a colander.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Cut each chicken thigh into three equal pieces. In a frying pan or oven and stove safe dish heated to medium high, add the chicken thigh pieces skin side down. Don’t touch the chicken until you think the skin is browned, about 5-6 minutes. Once the fat renders and skin is golden brown, stir chicken around the pan to ensure even cooking. After about 10 total minutes, remove from heat. At this point, the chicken will not be finished cooking and will finish in the oven.
As the chicken cooks, peel the skin off the tomatoes and gently smash the potatoes. In a food processor or mortar and pestle, blend about 1/3 of the oregano leaves, 4T olive oil, 1T red wine vinegar, salt and pepper until it resembles a vinaigrette.
When chicken has cooked for 10 minutes, add the tomatoes, potatoes, remainder of the oregano leaves and oregano-oil mixture to the same oven proof pan. Stir to distribute ingredients and spread mixture into an even layer. Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown.