April 27, 2010

Cheery Tomato Roasted Chicken

Sunday suppers tend to be an afterthought. Whether it was a day of chores, a day of streaming Weeds on Netflix or a day of festival attendance (my social life sincerely thanks Atlanta's festival season), it's got to be easy, healthy, homey and leave enough for leftovers for the week ahead.

That's one tall order. 

Roasted chicken was born for Sunday night. The process is so simple and the leftovers are so versatile, but how to liven up a staple of winter for the spring and summer? Replace the carrots and potatoes with garlicky herbed cherry tomatoes. So good, you can't resist feeling cheery even as Monday looms.

Cheery Tomato Roasted Chicken
Adapted form Bon Appetite Cookbook via The Wednesday Chef
Serves 4

24 ounces whole cherry tomatoes (about 4 cups)
1/4 cup olive oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 teaspoons dried crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
4 bone-in chicken breasts (10 to 12 ounces each)
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Heat the oven to 450°. Combine olive oil, garlic, crushed red pepper, rosemary and thyme in a medium bowl.

2. Place the chicken in a baking dish and loosen the attached skin. Rub most of the olive oil mixture over the four chicken pieces, taking care to stuff it underneath the skin.

3. Add tomatoes to the remaining olive oil mixture and stir to coat. Pour coated tomatoes into the baking dish, arranging them snugly around the chicken. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.

4. Roast until the chicken is cooked through and the tomatoes are blistered, about 35 minutes. Transfer the chicken to plates. Spoon the tomatoes and juices over the chicken.