Easy, inexpensive and quick – this baked chicken dish makes a great weeknight dinner, or an almost effortless weekend lunch to serve to guests. Chicken thighs are usually cheaper than chicken breasts – but they also have much more flavour and are the best cut to use for this kind of baked dish. The dish also uses a humble can of crushed tomatoes – an inexpensive pantry essential. I’ve called this a Mediterranean chicken bake because of the punchy olive, tomato and feta flavours make the dish.
For a weeknight meal for 2, I reduce the quantity of chicken to 1 – 2 thighs each and add less of the other ingredients. I like to serve this dish with a starch to soak up the sauce – you could use fine or pearl cous cous, brown rice or simply serve with some fresh bread to mop up the juices.
For a family dinner, you could stretch the number of servings by serving with a grain and a side of vegetables.
Ingredients – serves 4 – 5
- 6 chicken thighs
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced or chopped
- 1 can crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup olives (I used a mix of pitted kalamata and green olives)
- Small vine tomatoes (I used 3 sprigs of small vine ripened tomatoes – about 18 in total)
- 50 grams (approximately) of feta (I used Danish feta)
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (or substitute red wine)
- 3 + fresh thyme sprigs
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.
Combine the crushed tomatoes, paprika and red wine vinegar in a small bowl and set aside.
Add the oil and butter (if using) to a large heavy based frying pan and turn on to medium heat. Add the garlic and lightly brown, then add the chicken thighs and brown to seal the meat, turning once – about 4 minutes each side. Add some sea salt and cracked pepper to the chicken while it is cooking. Turn off the heat and add the chicken to an oven proof dish – I like using a nice oval dish so I can serve the chicken in the dish it is baked in.
Pour the tomato mixture on top of the chicken. Arrange the vine tomatoes, olives, feta, thyme sprigs on top.
Bake for about 20 – 25 minutes until chicken is cooked. You can remove a piece of chicken and slice into it to check it is done.
Serve with a grain or crusty bread and enjoy!