"A Welcome Toast to Nigel Slater"! Over at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), we are welcoming our new featured chef, Nigel Slater. We have cooked with Donna Hay for the past six months, and starting from this week, we are switching to our next featured chef, Nigel Slater. I have heard of Nigel Slater and have seen his recipes in some magazines and read about him from the internet, but that is about all I know, and have never tried any of his recipes before. I am really looking forward to our next six months, especially so, when I've recently purchased two his books. The more I browsed thru his books, the more recipes I've bookmarked to try!
For this first week with Nigel Slater, we are free to select any of his recipes, to welcome him to our kitchen. And for me, what better way than a baked chicken meal? Haha, baked or roasted chicken are always a favourite in my house and the only difficult thing is, to select which recipe as there are a few that looks and sounds delicious!
I've finally settled for this Baked Chicken with Tomatoes and Olives for my weekend night dinner, and made only half a recipe using 4 chicken thighs as it was only my daughter and myself are eating home that night. This is really easy, simple and nothing much to the preparation, seriously!
According to Nigel Slater, this is "Another Quick Chicken Dinner", and he is absolutely right!
The chicken thighs are first sprinkled with some salt and black pepper and pan-fry with a little oil on both sides until lightly browned. Place the chicken thighs in a baking dish, placing them snugly and close together. I use a pyrex baking dish which fits all 4 thighs perfectly. In a medium bowl, mix all these ingredients together ; olive oil, lemon juice, quartered tomatoes, pitted black olives, garlic, generous amount of fresh thyme leaves, and season with salt and pepper. Pour this mixture over the chicken and bake for about 45 minutes until the chicken are cooked through and the tomatoes have produced plenty of juice.
While the chicken is baking in the oven, I made some Curried Couscous, which I have posted in my previous post. This Curried Couscous, an Ina Garten recipe, is so good and it is the perfect pairing with this baked chicken.
Can you see all the lovely juice from the tomatoes and the chicken, so tasty!
This is such a satisfying dinner! My daughter was all smiles when she took her first bite of the chicken. The chicken is so deliciously tender and moist! And I love the tomatoes, they are really soft, and yummy with the flavours from the chicken, thymes and garlic. The black olive is another delicious ingredient and I can actually smell the aroma of the olive while the dish is in the oven. My first dish from Nigel Slater and it is a keeper. I would definitely make this again. Easy, simply, fuss-free and delicious! Yum! Yum!
Baked Chicken with Tomatoes and Olives
(adapted from "The Kitchen Diaries II", Nigel Slater)
8 large chicken thighs
12 black olives
juice of a lemon
olive oil ; 2 tablespoons, plus a little extra for frying
6 plump garlic cloves
3 large sprigs thyme
Set the oven at 180C/Gas 4. Rub the chicken pieces all over with salt and black pepper. Put them snugly in a roasting tin.
Stone and halve the olives. Pour the lemon juice and the 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a mixing bowl, then add the olives. Cut the tomatoes into quarters, unless they are very small, when you can simply halve them. Add them to the bowl. Peel the garlic and squash each clove with the flat of a knife, but keep them whole. Pull the leaves off the thyme sprigs and add to the tomatoes with the garlic, a generous seasoning of black pepper and a little salt.
Colour the chicken lightly on both sides in a little oil in a roasting tin over a moderate heat. The skin should be pale gold. Tip the tomato mixture over the top and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft and have produced plenty of juice and the chicken's juices run clear when you pierce the flesh with a skewer.
Serve with rice, couscous or crusty bread to soak up the tomatoey-chickeny juices.
Enough for 4.
To view what my friends are making to welcome Nigel Slater to their kitchen, please visit IHCC. If you are interested to join us (please do!), more information about joining in can be found here.
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