Baked Chicken with Cherry Tomatoes and Garlic
September always catches me unawares. It seems that one day we are wilting in the heat while neighborhood kids shoot hoops well past dusk (how can they see in the dark?). The next day a cool breeze comes in, the block is eerily quiet, the kids back at school.
Even though summer isn’t officially over till later in the month, for all practical purposes, it’s gone. Playtime has passed. We put on our worker bee wings and get ready for the fall.
This baked chicken dish is made for busy days. It takes all of 10 minutes of hands on time, and 45 minutes in the oven. Cherry tomatoes can still easily be found at the market, or in your garden in many parts of the country. A few cloves of garlic, a couple sprigs of rosemary, some balsamic, salt, and chicken thighs are all you’ll need.
The chicken and tomatoes will produce plenty of juice, which you can use for dipping crusty bread, or reduce further and serve as a sauce over the chicken.
My mother and father stopped by the other day for lunch and I served them this chicken. They both gave it two thumbs up for taste and my mom gave extra points for simplicity. Enjoy!
Baked Chicken with Cherry Tomatoes and Garlic Recipe
This dish produces a lot of flavorful liquid. You can use it for dipping crusty toasted bread. Or, you can remove the chicken, tomatoes, and garlic to a serving dish and pour the strained liquid into a small saucepan and boil until reduced to a thicker sauce. You can pour this sauce back over the chicken or pour it over rice or pasta.
The recipe calls for bone-in thighs. If you make it with boneless thighs you may need to reduce the cooking time by a few minutes.
The recipe calls for skin-on thighs. If you make it with skinless thighs, try to cover the thighs as much as you can with the tomatoes, to help prevent the meat from drying out. If you make it with skinless breasts, do the same, and reduce the cooking time to 25 minutes.
- 2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups of cherry tomatoes (a heaping basket)
- 6 whole cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary (or 1/2 teaspoon dry rosemary)
1 Place chicken thighs in a baking dish that allows for a little room between the thighs. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken thighs with salt.
2 Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Place in a bowl with the whole garlic cloves. Sprinkle with balsamic and olive oil.
3 Pour the cherry tomatoes over the chicken pieces and arrange so that they are squeezed around the chicken pieces. You want the chicken skins to be exposed so they brown in the oven. Lay sprigs of rosemary over the tomatoes.
(If you are using dry rosemary instead of fresh sprigs, just mix it in with the tomatoes.)
4 Bake, uncovered for 45 minutes, until the chicken is well browned on the top and cooked through. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes. Skim the excess chicken fat with a ladle.
Serve with toasted crusty bread, buttered noodles, or rice. (Skip for paleo option, skip bread and noodles for gluten-free versions.)