I love it when I find a recipe that we all like which doesn't include any dairy (the kid will eat anything with cheese on it). It's even better if it's easy, doesn't dirty too many dishes and includes some kind of vegetable. This one does all of this and more.
It works well with chicken thighs, which I like because they're cheaper and the dark meat is more flavorful. It uses cherry tomatoes which are available, delicious and not too pricey year round. This recipe is simple and puts you well on your way to a complete dinner. Just add baked potatoes and a salad.
For this recipe you will need:
1 pint cherry tomatoes
4-6 chicken thighs or whatever cut you like
1 small onion
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper
One large oven proof skillet or dutch oven
If you're using frozen chicken, make sure it's defrosted before you get started. One other thing to do before you get started is to peel the cherry tomatoes. I know this seems a little ridiculous and you can certainly skip it if you want, but hear me out.
Peeling the tomatoes allows them to release their juices to flavor the chicken. Instead of washing the tomatoes, put them in a bowl and pour boiling water over them. Then pull them out and put them in another bowl and add cold water and ice cubes. This will make the skins split. You can then peel them with your fingers, use a fingernail to get it started if you need to. Don't worry about it if you can't get it all off - it's not imperative to spend all afternoon painstakingly scraping tiny tomatoes. Some will peel easily and some hardly peel at all, just do what you can quickly and move on.
Next, preheat the oven to 400. I used a cast iron skillet for this recipe and it worked really well, but you could use any oven proof pan. Put the skillet on a burner and turn it on medium high to heat it up. Sprinkle your chicken with salt and pepper. When the pan is screaming hot, add about a tablespoon of oil to the pan, swirl it around, throw in the chicken and stand back - it will sizzle and pop. If you're using chicken with the skin on, there's no need to add the oil, just place the peices skin side down. Leave the chicken alone for at least five minutes. Don't stir it around or anything, just let it get golden brown all by itself.
While it's browning, chop up the onion, mince or chop the garlic and oregano and add this to the tomatoes. Mix the veggies with salt and pepper, 2 tablespoons vinegar and 1 tablespoon oil and stir it up. Now, check the chicken to see if it's brown. It should release from the pan if it is, and flip it over. It should go more quickly on the second side.
Add the tomato mixture right into the pan with the chicken and transfer it to the hot oven. It will depend on the thickness of the chicken pieces you use, but this will need to cook for about 30 minutes or until the chicken is done. Another thing I like about chicken thighs is that you can not overcook them - they never dry out. So leave them in there until you're ready to eat and the potatoes are done.
You'll be so pleased with the beautiful dinner you've made when you pull this out of the oven and serve it. The onions melt into a lovely sauce, the tomatoes turn sweet from roasting and it looks nice too.