I made this recipe for baked Italian chicken ages ago but just could not get a good photo of it. The photo is still not fabulous but this post by Maureen of the Orgasmic Chef where she posted a recipe for pulled pork BBQ beetroot pasta with a photo that she wasn’t 100% happy with prompted me to have another go with this recipe and then share with you regardless of the photo outcome.
The main reason I wanted to share this recipe with you is because of how damned good it tastes with so little effort. If you are coming home from work tired but wanting to eat a healthy meal then this is a great option. The recipe is very lightly adapted from this one by Christine from Cook the Story. The main changes I made are to reduce the quantities and therefore the cook time and added in olives.
Preparation time is only 5 minutes (excluding heating up the oven) and cook time is 25 minutes, but that 25 minutes is all in the oven and you aren’t required to do anything except check once or twice that everything isn’t going up in flames. So you can get home, warm the oven, pull this together then go have a glass of wine to recuperate. Once the 25 minutes are up you just want to check the chicken is cooked all the way through. I have suggested using a chicken breast piece that is about 125g. But chicken these days are often much bigger than this. I normally cut the chicken breast I buy into pieces. I take the thicker bit at the top for recipes like this and the thinner bottom bits for stirfries. I try to get at least one piece that is 125g from each breast.
Flavourwise, it is quite a sweet dish with the sugars from the tomato and chilli. I add the olives to the recipe to add a saltiness to offset the sweetness. You will get some lovely juices coming out the chicken that mingle with all the other flavours and I recommend having the dish either with some potato or lovely crusty bread so you don’t waste these juices.
Since making this recipe for sesame garlic chicken I have become a fan of baking chicken. I find it easier to get lovely tender chicken compared to when I stir fry. Now that the weather has turned cool here in Canberra I am feeling the love for the oven again and creating some new oven baked chicken dishes. But if you are in the Northern Hemisphere and the weather is warming up you may want to check out this recipe for tuscan chicken which is made in a skillet and is a one pot wonder!
While this photo is still not perfect, my photography has improved with help from the lovely Nagi of Recipe Tin Eats. If you are a food blogger and looking to improve your food blog then I strongly recommend that you check out a new website that Nagi has created called Food Bloggers Central. It is a new site but is already full of great tips for food bloggers. And did I mention it is all for free. So what do you have to lose?
- 125g of boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 5 cherry tomatoes or 4 amoroso tomatoes, cut in half
- 1/2 a red chilli, sliced thinly
- 5 basil leaves, shredded
- 1 tsp of olive oil
- 1/4 tsp of salt
- a pinch of group pepper
- 6-8 olives
- Heat the oven to 220 C (425 F)
- Trim any fat off the chicken and pop in a small baking dish
- On top of the chicken put the tomato, chilli, basil and olives
- Drizzle the olive oil over the chicken and season with salt and pepper.
- Pop the baking dish in the oven and cook for about 25 minutes.
- Check the chicken is cooked through. If not then pop it back in the oven for a few minutes.
- Serve with crusty bread or a baked potato to soak up the delicious juices.