Tender and Crisp Chicken Legs with Sweet Tomatoes (Jamie's Dinners)

4/11/2005 08:02:00 PM

This recipe comes from Jamie’s Dinners, which I have discovered is a really great book. This was very, very easy. Just chuck chicken pieces into a dish with cherry tomatoes, olive oil, basil, garlic, salt and pepper, and cook for one and a half hours in a moderate oven, turning the tomatoes once. I chucked it in the oven at about 5:20, had some people over to work on a group assignment, then had them out the door just after the chicken was cooked. Easy peasy! The recipe asks for “4 chicken legs, jointed”, but I had no idea what that meant. From the picture, it looks like little chicken marylands with the knobbly bit at the end of the drumstick cut off. But I substituted 8 plain old drumsticks.

It looked gorgeous going into the oven, with the Italian-flag combination of white garlic, fragrantly green basil and red tomatoes…

Chicken going into oven

And it smells beautiful as it’s cooking. Jealous sniffs coming from my fellow group members. Hah!

Cooked. Looks shrivelled, but tastes great! And so tender too!

I actually left the chicken sitting in the turned-off oven until my group members left, which was about 20 minutes. But it was fine, not dry at all. In fact it was very crisp, and very tender! (Funny, that.) The tomatoes were great as well, their fruity sweetness intensified in the heat.

I think this would be a good recipe for beginners to cook, as it's easy and has lovely results. More importantly though, it's a great dish for anyone to eat. Very homely and tasty and comforting, yet light at the same time. I served it with egg-fried rice (for my family) and salad.

Jamie also suggests shredding the chicken meat once cooked and tossing it through cooked pasta - a great idea, but I think it would need a LOT more seasoning. Or at least a lot of cheese. Mmm... CHEESE.

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