I want to emphasize that my style of cooking is ‘free range‘…meaning, I try to make it my own unique style, but with the guidance of a recipe. So on this note, I found a wonderful chicken recipe from bon appetit magazine with an emphasis on heirloom tomatoes–which I happen to just purchase a few days ago from our local farmers market. I wanted to use them for something special, so I made a roasted chicken, using these beautiful heirloom tomatoes, a certified organic whole chicken, a variety of herbs and spices for my dish. Below, I am going to give you the basis of the recipe and ingredients, and give you the option for making my version (as pictured) of the same recipe.
Ingredients (And learning the art of substituting)
-The original recipe calls for 1lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts–I used a whole chicken.
-Next, it calls for 1 1/2 lb cherry tomatoes or other tomatoes on the vine–I used heirloom tomatoes.
-6 tbsp olive oil, divided–I am a big supporter of local businesses, thus I used a locally grown garlic-infused olive oil.
-2 tbsp herbes de Provence
-1 tsp. kosher salt plus more
-Freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 small shallot, minced–I used dried ones, so no mincing required.
2 tbsp red wine vinegar—I used sherry cooking wine vinegar.
3 tbsp flat-leaf parsley leaves–I used dried ones, just a dash .
3 tbsp fresh tarragon leaves–I used dried ones, just a dash.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Combine tomatoes, 2 tbsp oil and herbes de Provence in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large heavy ovenproof skillet; carefully add tomatoes to the pan. Transfer the skillet to oven and roast, turning it only once, until tomatoes burst and give up some of their juices–about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer tomatoes in a medium bowl and drizzle with Worcestershire sauce; set aside. (For my version, I basically sautéed the tomatoes in the pan, added some of the herbs mentioned above to give the tomatoes flavor–for about 5 minutes, then transferred to the bowl then added the Worcestershire sauce.)
Meanwhile, season the chicken all over with salt, pepper and herbs. If you are using the boneless chicken breasts as stated above, heat 2 tbsp oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. You want to sear these on both sides until they are golden brown, 6-8 minutes. Transfer pan to oven and roast chicken until cooked through, 8-10 minutes. Transfer chicken to cutting board and let rest for at least 5 minutes. (For my version, using a whole chicken–I seasoned as directed using salt, pepper, and the herbs mentioned above. I then placed it in a ovenproof pan, cover with foil and let chicken soak in all the flavor-base from the seasoning, setting it aside until ready for the next step*)
Now, for the deglaze pan–Add remaining 1 tbsp oil to the same skillet; heat over medium-heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring often until fragrant, about a minute. Deglaze the pan with vinegar, scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the pan; add the tomatoes and their juices and simmer until sauce is just beginning to thicken, about a minute. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Slice chicken; divide among plates. Spoon tomatoes and sauce over; garnish with herbs.
(For my version, using a whole chicken like I did, the rule of thumb is for every 1lb = 20 minutes oven cooking time. I had a little over 5lbs of chicken so my estimate baking time was approximately 1 1/2 hour. *For your next step, change the oven temperature/or if you turned it off after baking the tomatoes earlier, preheat it again to 350 degrees F; add the roasted tomatoes by pouring it on top of the chicken, proceed to bake for about 1 hour to 1 1/2 hour depending on how many pounds the chicken weighs.
When the chicken is baked, carefully remove most of the sauce from that pan and pour it over the same skillet; heat over medium-heat. Deglaze the pan by adding a bit more vinegar, scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the pan; add more tomatoes if you have any, mushrooms, and herbs; simmer until sauce is just beginning to thicken, about a minute. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Pour this back onto the whole baked chicken and serve!)–gcc