Baked chicken is always comforting. Truth be told, I tend to go the boneless route – be them thighs or breasts, mainly because they are easier to eat. However, in doing so, you also forego a bit of flavor – because bone-in chicken tends to be more succulent and has a greater depth of flavor. Combine that with a roasted tomato cream sauce, sundried tomatoes, onions, capers and come on – you have a winner on your hands.
Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
2 pints grape or cherry tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, sliced
2-3 tbs extra virgin olive oil plus 2 additional tbs
Kosher salt and coarsely ground pepper to taste
6 bone-in chicken thighs – extra fat trimmed
1-8.5 oz jar julienned sundried tomatoes in olive oil – chopped
1-3.5 oz jar capers, rinsed and drained
1 large onion sliced
¼ cup light cream
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
Preheat oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
Arrange grape or cherry tomatoes on a sheet pan along with the sliced garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Ensure tomatoes and garlic are combined with the oil and spices. Roast for 40 minutes.
While tomatoes are roasting, heat a large pan on the stovetop with 2 tbs olive oil over medium high heat. Pat the chicken thighs dry and trim any excess fat. Liberally season both sides with kosher salt and pepper. When oil is shimmering, carefully add the thighs to the pan. Cook for six minutes, then turn and cook for an additional six minutes. Thighs should be browned on both sides – but not completely cooked. Remove from the pan and place on a plate – cover with aluminum foil. Keep juices in pan – but set aside.
Slice the onion and chop the sundried tomatoes – reserve about a tbs of oil. Drain and rinse the capers. Set aside.
When the tomatoes are done in the oven, allow to cool slightly – then transfer to a blender. Blitz until smooth. Allow the top to be open – cover lightly with a kitchen towel. You do not ever want to blend hot liquid completely covered – it could explode.
Reset oven to 350 degrees.
Return the pan in which you cooked the chicken back to the burner. Turn heat to medium. Add about a tbs of the oil from the sundried tomatoes – allow to heat up. Next, add the onions, sundried tomatoes, and capers. Cook for about six minutes until onions have softened. Add the blitzed roasted tomatoes and cook for another five minutes.
Ladle about ½ cup of cooked tomato sauce into a 13×9 baking dish. Add the partially cooked chicken over the sauce. Add the rest of the sauce – covering the chicken.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Garnish with fresh parsley and serve. Great sides include, of course, pasta, roasted potatoes, or your favorite roasted vegetables.