This is my kind of food!
A simple tray-baked chicken dish packed with Mediterranean flavors.
I like to brown the chicken first and roast it alongside plump cherry tomatoes, red onions, and white beans. It comes out all sticky and caramelized.
I have 2 secrets- the first is to use marinated artichoke hearts and bocconcini (bite-size mozzarella balls). The garlicky/vinegary marinade adds incredible flavor to the dish without having to do a thing. The second trick is to toss in plently of fresh herbs right before serving. Fresh basil and parsley will make your kitchen smell out of this world!
If you can marinate your chicken beforehand, this dish will taste even better. If you’re pressed for time, just skip it. It will still be very good.
Serve this with homemade bread and a nice green salad. Any leftovers are great mixed through with pasta.
*UPDATE- Since posting this Mediterranean baked chicken, I’ve come up with a couple of variations that you might enjoy:
- Make sure to use a baking dish larger than 9x 13 inches. A large roasting pan is ideal. Overcrowding will cause the ingredients to steam rather than caramelize. Use 2 pans if necessary.
- 1x 14 oz. jar of marinated artichoke hearts, juice only
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 4 sprigs of fresh oregano, leaves stripped
- 1½ lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, left whole
- reserved artichoke hearts
- 1x 14 oz. can white beans, drained & rinsed
- ¼ c. roughly chopped Kalamata olives
- 1x 8 oz. tub marinated bocconcini (mini-mozzarella balls), drained
- freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ c. roughly chopped parsley
- 2 tbsp. basil leaves, cut into ribbons
- Marinade: drain the artichokes hearts reserving the juice. To a large bowl, add 2 tbsp. of artichoke juice, garlic, and oregano leaves.
- Cut the chicken into thirds, about 1½- inch strips. Add to the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, maximum 3 hours.
- Bake: preheat your oven to 400 F.
- Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, sliced onions, and tomatoes to a large roasting pan. Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Roast on the center rack stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and the tomatoes begin to burst, about 15-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the chicken. In a large skillet warm 1 tablespoon of olive oil over moderate heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Brown the meat on both sides, working in batches and transfer to a plate. The chicken will be slightly undercooked.
- Pat the artichokes dry with a paper towel. Cut into quarters.
- Remove the roasting pan from the oven; the onions should be soft and sticky. If not, bake for an additional 3-5 minutes.
- Add the chicken, artichoke hearts, beans, and olives to the pan (not the bocconcini- if you add the cheese too early it will melt all over the place). Roast for about 7-10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
- To serve, add the cheese and toss gently. The heat from the pan will soften the cheese.
- Top with parsley and basil leaves, and drizzle with extra artichoke juice if desired.