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Baked Chicken with Olives and Tomatoes

(recipe, Caroline Cummins)


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Introduction

This recipe was inspired by a number of others, including the Provençal baked chicken from In the Small Kitchen and the chicken bouillabaisses in The Zuni Café Cookbook and Bistro Cooking. It's an easy, budget-friendly way to feed a crowd, provided that you remember to marinate everything beforehand. It's cheapest to get whole chicken legs (the thigh with the drumstick still attached), but thighs alone is perfectly succulent.

Ingredients

    Chicken
    1. 6 lb. bone-in, skin-on chicken legs or thighs (see Introduction)
    2. 4 bay leaves
    3. 4 tsp. dried oregano
    4. 2 tsp. dried thyme
    5. 2 tsp. salt
    6. 1 tsp. brown sugar
    7. 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
    8. Two small pinches of saffron threads (optional)
    9. Two small pinches of red-pepper flakes (optional)
    10. 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
    11. 4 to 6 garlic cloves, smashed
    12. ½ cup pitted Kalamata olives
    13. 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, with juices
    14. ¼ cup dry white wine or dry vermouth
    15. ⅛ cup red- or white-wine vinegar
    16. ⅛ cup extra-virgin olive oil
    To serve
    1. Minced fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)
    2. Fresh baguette, couscous, or orzo pasta, for serving

    Steps

    1. Arrange the chicken legs (or thighs) in two baking dishes. Divide the remaining ingredients between the two dishes. Turn the chicken pieces a few times in the marinade and evenly distribute the marinade ingredients. Cover and put the dishes into the refrigerator to marinate for at least four to six hours (or overnight).
    2. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the chicken for an hour, rotating halfway through the baking time.
    3. Serve warm, spooning the juices over the couscous or orzo, if using.