A surplus of ripe cherry tomatoes in my tiny urban garden was the inspiration for this recipe. I’ve resorted to only growing cherry tomatoes as the squirrels in my neighbourhood are stealthy and hungry. Watching a full-sized tomato slowly ripen, only to have the squirrels harvest it just before I do, is simply too aggravating. At least with cherry tomatoes there are enough to share with the thieving rodents. The flavours in this dish are terrific and I love that you can quickly assemble it the night before, then pop it in the oven to roast away while you decompress (aka drink wine) as it cooks. Note that you can also use boneless thighs, if you can find them with the skin on. This dish is very family-friendly and individual plates can easily be jazzed up for more adventuresome palates by adding a few halved Kalamata olives at serving time and finishing with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
- 6 – 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) kosher salt
- 6 whole cloves garlic, peeled and halved if large
- 2 cups (500 mL) cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) olive oil
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) balsamic vinegar
- Few grinds freshly ground black pepper
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary or thyme
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Trim chicken pieces of any excess fat then place in a baking dish that’s big enough to allow a gap between each piece of meat. Sprinkle the chicken with salt.
- Put the halved cherry tomatoes and peeled garlic in a bowl. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic over top and toss to combine.
- Sprinkle the tomatoes and garlic over the chicken and tuck them into the gaps between the pieces. Keep the tops of the chicken uncovered so the skin will crisp up. Grind pepper over everything.
- Place the rosemary or thyme sprigs over the tomatoes.
- Bake, uncovered, for about 45 minutes, until chicken skin is browned and crispy and internal temperature is 170F.
- Serve chicken and tomatoes over rice or buttered noodles, drizzling generously with pan sauce.
Serves 3 – 4 and can easily be doubled or tripled.