Another chicken recipe? It suddenly occurred to me that it seems like we eat a lot of meat! We are actually quite fish people - Bubbles loves fish more than any other meat - but we cook fish so simply that it seems almost pointless to share my usual fish recipes! I have however, stumbled upon a roast salmon recipe that quite tickled our taste-buds. I'll write about that soon, I promise!
Back to the chicken recipe however, this one is really worth trying. It is so simple to do, and I particularly like how the chicken can be served in two very presentable ways. The original recipe was shared with me by my mother-in-law, who in turn picked it up from a church friend.
Making this only involves a seasoning of the meat and scattering of the other ingredients, before popping the whole lot into the oven. The taste of the meat is beautifully flavoured by the sweet basil leaves, tomatoes and whole cloves of garlic.
If hosting a small party, I would serve up whole chicken legs, with the condiments and gravy poured over it, paired with some choice carbs and vegetables.
For larger parties, I like to do this - mash up the cooked garlic cloves, tomatoes and sweet basil together with the cooking juices to make a sauce, shred the meat, and mix it all into cooked pasta. Sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan cheese and serve. The sauce is a light, garlicky one that aglio olio lovers will appreciate! I have done this a day or two before big parties - only the pasta needs to be cooked on the day itself. This dish has received its fair share of compliments from our guests!
Tomato & Sweet Basil Chicken
8 chicken legs
salt & pepper
2 small red onions, chopped
1/2 cube chicken stock, crumbled (optional)
3 cups sweet basil leaves
2 cups whole cherry tomatoes
2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in halves
10 garlic cloves, peeled
1 fresh chilli, finely chopped (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 180C.
2. Season legs with salt and pepper.
3. Place halved cherry tomatoes in a baking tray in a single layer.
4. Place chicken legs on top of the cherry tomatoes, also in a single layer.
5. Scatter onion, chicken stock, sweet basil, whole cherry tomatoes, garlic and chilli all over the tray.
6. Drizzle olive oil all over (especially the chicken), and give everything a bit of a mix.
7. Bake in onion for 1 to 1 1/4 hours until chicken skin is crispy and meat cooked through.
8. Serve shredded or whole (as in descriptions above).