This simple pan-baked chicken dish is “the sort of food I absolutely love to eat,” says Jamie Oliver in his new cookbook, Jamie at Home: Cook Your Way to the Good Life (Hyperion). The celebrated British chef, whose work is showcased on the Food Network, notes that he looks for inspiration for new dishes not in the “wider world” but in his own vegetable patch. In this simple dish, the individual flavors of different ingredients cooking together “get mixed up. This is what it’s all about!”
Recipe of the week
Crispy and Sticky Chicken Thighs With Squashed New Potatoes and Tomatoes
1¾ lbs new potatoes, scrubbed
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
12 boned chicken thighs, skin on, preferably free-range or organic
1½ lbs cherry tomatoes, different shapes and colors if you can find them
A bunch of fresh oregano, leaves picked
Extra-virgin olive oil
Red wine vinegar
Put potatoes in large saucepan of salted boiling water and boil until cooked. While potatoes are cooking, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut each chicken thigh into three strips and place in a bowl. Rub the meat all over with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, then toss. Heat a large frying pan, big enough to hold all chicken pieces snugly in one layer, and put chicken into the pan, skin side down. If you don’t have a pan big enough, feel free to cook the chicken in two batches.
Toss and fry over high heat for 10 minutes or so, until almost cooked, then remove with a slotted spoon to an ovenproof pan or dish.
Prick tomatoes with a sharp knife. Place in a bowl, cover with boiling water, and leave for a minute or so. Drain and, when cool enough to handle, pinch off their skins. Their intense flavor will infuse the potatoes.
By now the potatoes will be cooked. Drain them in a colander, and then lightly crush them by pushing down on them with your thumb.
Bash up most of the oregano leaves with a pinch of salt in a pestle and mortar, or a Flavor Shaker if you have one. Add 4 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, a good splash of red wine vinegar, and some pepper, and give everything another bash. Add to the chicken with the potatoes, the tomatoes, and the rest of the oregano leaves. Toss everything together carefully. Spread out in a single layer in an appropriately sized roasting pan, and bake for 40 minutes in the preheated oven until golden.
Lovely served with an arugula salad dressed with some lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil, and a nice glass of white wine. Serves four.