Baked Chicken Thighs With Tomatoes, Olives & Goat Cheese

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Most of us have those very busy days when we wonder if it is even possible to try and get a homemade dinner prepared and on the table for our families, and on those days we are truly tempted to turn to fast food or take-out options. There are however many pasta dishes that can be on the table in under 30 minutes, and easy chicken dishes such as this one that will make it look like you have been in the kitchen for hours but simply take a few minutes of actual preparation. As long as you have the ingredients on hand, and the chicken thighs marinating in the refrigerator the night before, this easy one pot recipe can be popped into the oven while you prepare a big mixed salad and set the table.

I prefer chicken thighs rather than breasts for this recipe as I feel they stay very moist and have more flavor. I use bone in thighs and in this particular recipe I did leave the skin on, and simply trimmed away any excess fat. You could use skinless, boneless thighs if you prefer, and if possible, do use very ripe cherry tomatoes for the best flavor. The day I made this dish it was pouring rain out, and when I went outside onto our covered porch to try and find enough light to take a few photos of the finished dish I was rewarded with an amazing rainbow!

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The Tomatoes, Olives, Gost Cheese & Oregano Are Arranged Over The Partially Cooked Chicken.

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Once Completely Cooked, The Tomatoes Have Softened And The Goat Cheese Has Warmed And Is Lightly Brown And Creamy.

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Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2014

Baked Chicken Thighs With Tomatoes, Olives & Goat Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, Peeled
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Pesto (I Used My Arugula Pistachio Pesto)
  • 8 Bone In Meaty Chicken Thighs, Trimmed Of Fat
  • 2 Cups Ripe Cherry Tomatoes
  • 6 Ounces Goat Cheese
  • 1/3 Cup Pitted Flavorful Black Olives
  • 3 Fresh Oregano Sprigs

Directions:

  1. The night before, place the oil, lemon juice, cloves, dried oregano, salt, pepper, and pesto in a blender and pulse until smooth.
  2. Place the thighs and marinade into a ziplock bag and squeeze gently to mix.
  3. Refrigerate overnight.
  4. Remove the thighs from the refrigerator an hour before you plan to bake them, draining off and discarding the marinade.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  6. Place the thighs on a baking sheet, and bake for 35 minutes.
  7. Remove the chicken from the oven, and place the tomatoes and olives around the chicken.
  8. Spoon some of the chicken juices over the chicken and tomatoes, then crumble the goat cheese on top.
  9. Place the fresh oregano sprigs on top of the chicken, then bake an additional 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the tomatoes have softened.
  10. Place the chicken on a platter and spoon the tomato and olive mixture on top.
  11. Serve immediately.

Adapted from the book Chicken and Egg by Janice Cole.