This is my kind of food.
A simple baked chicken dish packed with Mediterranean flavors. Everything cooks in one pan so that all of the ingredients can happily infuse. I like to brown the chicken first and then roast it alongside plump cherry tomatoes, red onions, and white beans. It comes out of the oven 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 without having to do a thing. The second trick is to toss in plently of fresh herbs right before serving. I like to use chopped basil and parsley. The smell in your kitchen will be 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. I like to serve this with homemade bread and a nice green salad. Any leftovers are great mixed through with pasta.
*UPDATE- Since posting this recipe, 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.
- 1½ lbs. chicken breast or thighs (boneless & skinless)
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2-3 tbsp. marinade from artichoke hearts
- 4 sprigs of fresh oregano, leaves stripped
- 2 small red onions, thinly sliced
- 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, left whole
- 1x 14 oz. jar marinated artichoke hearts
- 1x 14 oz. can white beans, drained & rinsed (I used northern white beans)
- ½ c. Kalamata olives, pitted
- 1 small tub marinated bocconcini
- olive oil
- salt & pepper
- fresh basil & parsley, to taste
- For the marinade, drain the artichoke hearts reserving its juice in a small bowl. Pat the artichokes dry with a paper towel and set aside. To another bowl, add 2-3 tbsp. of the reserved artichoke juice, garlic, and oregano leaves (if you have any artichoke juice leftover, save it to drizzle over the dish when finished). Cut the chicken into 1½ inch strips and add to the bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and mix well to coat. Marinate for at least 1 hour, maximum 3 hours.
- When you’re ready to start cooking, preheat your oven to 400 F.
- To a large roasting pan, add the sliced onions and tomatoes. Toss with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook (stirring occasionally) until the onions are soft and the tomatoes begin to burst, about 15-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet warm 1 tsp. of olive oil over moderate heat. Brown the chicken on both sides, working in batches. The chicken will be slightly undercooked.
- Remove the roasting pan from the oven. At this point, the onions should be soft and sticky. If not, cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- To the pan, add the chicken, artichoke hearts, beans, and olives (not the bocconcini- if you add the cheese too early it will melt all over the place). Roast for about 5-7 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
- Roughly chop a large handful of both basil and parsley.
- Remove the chicken from the oven. Now add the bocconcini and herbs and toss gently to combine. The heat from the pan will melt the cheese. Drizzle with a little good quality olive oil and extra artichoke juice if desired.
- Serve immediately with crusty bread and a nice green salad.