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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Tender and Crisp Chicken with Sweet Tomatoes and a GIVEAWAY!

     I knew it,I just knew it when I turned the page I would find the perfect Father's Day dinner main dish in the pages of that cookbook. I bought two Jamie Oliver cookbooks back a few months ago.See I love cookbooks (some would say almost too much,everyone is allowed their opinions...) and I have a few on the shelves in my office-craft room place. I pulled a few cookbooks off the shelves searching for the perfect recipe for Father's Day dinner and even more special this meal would be the first big gathering at our new house,oh geez. No pressure AT ALL. And I get lucky with these dinners a lot of the time,but until the guest are fed,sent home with leftovers and dishes washed I give my all. Thank the Lord for luck and some measurable cooking skill. :)
    Ultmiately I wanted to accomplish three things with this meal: 1. Feed a handful of my family (eight is a handful right?!?!) a divine meal that would leave them with a warm heart and full belly. 2. Prepare a fairly easy dish that required minimal prep and slow-cooked,fresh flavors. 3.What the heck,lets cook a recipe that would also double as my post for the Father's Day theme over at I Heart Cooking Clubs.
I am grateful to say ALL three missions were accomplished and throw in a long nap this afternoon,what a weekend.
   Now let me show you how easy this dish is to prepare,cook and enjoy,dang fine:

    I love the farmers markets. I do a whole lot. I can get quality food for a quality price from quality people and take that quality food home and serve to my amazing family a quality meal. People the smell of fresh,home-grown,just picked off the vine tomatoes is unlike anything else I have ever smelled. So much so,when I cut up a few to put in the salad I proceeded to walk around to each guest and let them smell the stem area,just to take in what summer is : fresh,home-grown love in the form of a tomato. Perfection.
    Now the meal,I promise I will tell you about this meal,well the main course.
( I must tell you about the Baked Parmesan Cheese Grits another day,I must ,...but for now lets talk chicken.)
   Well this is it really. I arranged some chicken drumsticks and chicken thighs in a large roasting pan. Next I patted them dry,salt and peppered them and covered them in some summertime goodness: tomatoes,basil.garlic and hot peppers.Oh and a few good glugs of extra-virgin olive oil went in the pan just before all those other fine ingredients were lovingly tossed in there and folks thats it.
 Place that pan filled with summertime goodies in a 350 degree oven for an hour and a half. 
***Allow me a moment: So cooking/baking/roasting dishes in a new oven has it's challenges,you find out if it's the oven,the oven thermometer or just you who is not acting just right.As you can see I have two thermometers in my oven currently because the dial on the dashboard on the stovetop says one thing and the precious little oven thermometers say another... 
     My solution for this problem,well I don't have one yet. I have to cook/bake a few more recipes,play with the oven temp on the dial and watch my food to see what the solution might be. None to worry food will be cooked,cookies baked and this too shall pass. The temperature in the oven in this photo was 350 and the dial was cranked up to 425 and we settled somewhere at 400 degrees. Why this is ok,see that little soufflé dish in the top right? It contains one fine dip and well I have some patient guests and as my dad stated " you come from a long line of folks who don't cook on time." It's true and heck I just knew this was gonna be good.And my oven delimna: I'm cooking with a gas oven now and not electric,I'm a learning I'm a learning. Any hints?***

         Tender,crispy chicken skin coated in a rich tomato basil sauce,just thin enough to coat the pan.The tomatoes on the bottom roasted to tender perfection while the ones on the top remained firm and solid throughout the whole cooking process. And hello basil chips,fried deliciuos basil chips with the slightest hint of chicken... just fine fine eatin' right there.It was a truly special occasion,not only the Father's Day bit but that I opened my own personal pint-size jar of  the best jam ever,Tomato Jam! My stars between the crispy chicken slow-roasted with tomatoes and basil,a kick of red chiles,parmesan cheese grits and balsamic roasted asparagus, the dads were celebrated and a really great time was had by all.
***Oooohhh wait giveaway time!!!
       It has been a few months since my last giveaway,but I would love to make someone's day with a 1/2 pint of this fantastic jam and's my last jar of the stuff ( none to worry,my awesome father-in-law and my husband planted over 50 tomato plants some time back,well will have more tomato jam,so that means more for you to enjoy.) Good deal for all of us I think.
   So how do you get this jar of tomato goodness: Tell me about your favorite Father's Day memories. I will randomly pick a winner and ship that tomato jam out to the lucky person asap,so you too can enjoy with with roasted chicken or heck some plain bread makes a fine meal.The giveaway ends Saturday, June 25,2011 at midnight and I will announce the winner in the post on Sunday,June 26,2011.***
Tender and Crispy Chicken with Sweet Tomatoes
adapted from Jamie's Dinners
written by Jamie Oliver
serves 4
4 chicken legs or chicken thighs
salt and freshly ground black pepper
handful of basil,leaves picked 
2 big handfuls of red and yellow cherry tomatoes,halved
  and 2 big plum tomatoes quartered
1 whole bulb of garlic, broken up into cloves (peeled)
1 fresh red chili,finely chopped
olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken pieces in a large roasting pan,pat dry and salt and pepper all the pieces.
2. Toss together in a large bowl the tomatoes,garlic cloves,red chili and a few good glugs of extra-virgin olive oil. Distribute contents of the bowl all over the chicken pieces. Layer the basil leaves on top of the chicken and tomatoes.
3. Place the roasting pan in the preheated oven,bake for 1 1/2 hours until the chicken is crispy and falls off the bone.


  1. Mmmhm, tomato jam sounds delicious. I love that my father only makes one thing and it's: FLAN! Hahaha, I know, sounds crazy but it's the best flan in the WORLD!

  2. Just the name of this dish had me sounds amazing! My favorite Father's Day memory...seeing my husband with his baby in his arms. priceless.

  3. This dish sounds similar to the one I tried, but I love the idea of adding garlic and chili. It looks amazing. Glad it was a hit!

  4. Looks delicious! You were busy, glad you got the nap in :)

  5. aren't you cute and amazing!

  6. Eight is definitely a handful! Dinner looks great, congrats for pulling it all off wonderfully!

  7. Looks like you totally achieved your goals--this looks absolutely wonderful. ;-)