Friday, April 4, 2014

Baked Chicken with Tomatoes and Olives

"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
350gm tomatoes
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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  1. Joyce, the chicken looks really, really good! I must go get some olives to try this!

  2. I love baked chicken with tomatoes together....taste absolutely delicious. But I have yet to use olives bake together and hope I will love this too.

  3. Your baked chicken sure looks good! I would love to have this for dinner!

  4. Your "western food" all looks so tasty...and when I am reading your post, I feel so hungry.

  5. What a nice way of treating chicken ... simple flavours with great juices and herb. Chicken thighs are always so moist; they really hold up well to the oven heat, don't you think? I love how Nigel Slater tends to keep things simple. He's a great choice for the club's new exploration!

  6. This looks like my kind of dinner. I always turn to chicken for simple dinners!

  7. Ummmmm! Your chicken looks very delicious, tender and juicy, Joyce! Great seasonings!

  8. Hi Joyce:)
    I learned so much about Donna Hay while visiting so many I Heart Cooking Club posts. I sure am looking forward to discovering Nigel. I am not at all familar with him. If this chicken dish is an example, it's a keeper!

    Thanks for sharing, Joyce...

  9. Hello Kitchen Flavours! This dish looks really delicious and have pretty colours. I have never thought of black olive before. Now that I know how to use it, will add some to my cooking next time :-) Thank you for this recipe. Happy cooking, gardening and blogging!! Cheers, Stephanie

  10. I've seen his books at the lib but haven't carted one yet :D Now that you've mentioned how simple and easy his recipes , I'll be tempted to check it out more .

  11. Hi Joyce , The baked chicken is a go and keeper , looks so juicy and moist , thanks for sharing :)

  12. That chicken does look exceptionally juicy and delicious--a great dish to welcome Nigel. This will be a fun six months cooking along with him. ;-)

  13. Chicken, thyme, garlic, tomatoes and olives - just sounds like heaven to me. You keep posting dishes like this, Joyce, and that will be another book I need to add to my collection :-)

  14. I own two Nigel Slater books and cooked only three lousy recipes.... Tomatoes and olives sounds like summer on the plate, I still wait for spring here ...

  15. What a great combination of flavours to go with one of my favourite meals, roasted chicken. I have this book (and these ingredients )and have flagged this recipe to make soon. Great choice to welcome Nigel with.

  16. Chicken ad couscous was my choice to welcome Nigel too--I figured it seemed like a good Sunday dinner/family type of meal. I like the combination of tomatoes and olives. Your roasted tomatoes look delicious, Joyce. I will have to try this easy chicken dinner!

  17. I'm always looking for quick chicken dishes like this one for my family too. I love the saltiness of olives, especially with chicken. I think this looks so pretty and flavorful! So glad it was a hit :)

  18. It's always great when your family likes a meal, especially when trying something new. This looks great and one I will most certainly be making. This will be a fun 6 months!

  19. I love olives and tomatoes with chicken, it just gives the chicken such a special flavor. Your Baked Chicken with Tomatoes and Olives looks delicious. Thank you so much for sharing your special recipe with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you have a great week and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

  20. Ok. I have all these ingredient and will try it out anytime! Have bookmarked.