this dish, which should be called extremely clever roast chicken breasts with sweet tomatoes, has quickly risen in our rotation to occupy a top spot on our menu several times per month. it is extremely clever, and is the brain child of the brilliant jamie oliver. the chicken skin gets deliciously crisp and the meat is quite tender and succulent, while an incredible broth forms below. i adapted this dish from jamie oliver's recipe for tender and crisp chicken legs with sweet tomatoes from his book, jamie's dinners. i changed the recipe to adapt it for our family's particular tastes, by adding and omitting a few ingredients and changing the cut of chicken and doubling the cannellini beans, we love so much.
this recipe really only takes 10 minutes to put together and then roasts for an hour and a half. a brilliant recipe for weekends or whenever you have guests. it never fails and is highly adaptable.
roast chicken breasts and thighs with sweet tomatoes
2 chicken breast halves
4 chicken thighs
2 15 oz cans cannellini beans, drained
2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved or ripe plum tomatoes, quartered
1 whole bulb of garlic, broken up into cloves, skin left on
optional: 1 bunch swiss chard, spines removed, leaves chopped, or 8 oz baby spinach
preheat oven to 350 degrees F. season the chicken pieces all over with salt and pepper. first drizzle a little olive oil, then place cannellini beans across the bottom of a snug fitting oven proof pan several inches deep. next the chopped potatoes. scatter in the chopped chard or baby spinach, if using. scatter in a quarter of the tomatoes. mix around a little to distribute evenly. place the chicken breasts on top of this. tuck in the tomatoes and garlic cloves around the chicken pieces, pushing them into the gaps between. drizzle all with olive oil, add a little more salt and pepper if you like. roast for 1 and a half hours in the open pan. at the one hour mark, take it out of the oven and baste the chicken pieces with the collected juices. turn your oven on to convection roast setting if you have it, and cook for the remaining 30 minutes. serve at once. remember to warn your dinner guests to squeeze the garlic out of the skins before eating. we love to squeeze the garlic directly onto fresh bread, heavenly. jamie recommends some alternatives i haven't tried such as omitting the potatoes, but serving with simple mashed potatoes, or shredding the chicken and tossing all with a bowl of linguini or spaghetti. enjoy.