Perpetual reinvention is no way to live, but I’ve found myself in the midst of another home renovation. Between the new house and the new baby – and the daily dramas of a three-year-old – my cooking routine has gone up in smoke. We’ve eaten more grilled cheeses and french fries than I care to recall, which is perfect for bathing suit season…
One rainy afternoon, when my mom took Manster out on a date to the drugstore and I was home with Baby Ice, I took it upon myself to prepare something that required more than a panini press. I always keep a cache of grape tomatoes and olives on hand, and thanks to an overzealous pot of basil, we have plenty of fresh herbs. Whole Foods had a sale on chicken breasts, so there was some actual protein waiting in the wings. Voila, the fixings for a delicious and easy meal.
This recipe uses precious few ingredients, necessitates very little prep and is ready in about an hour. Baby Ice happily bounced away in his Jumperoo while I made the whole meal and I even had a few minutes to spare to thumb through one of the 7,000 magazines that has piled up in the playroom since his arrival. A success by any measure.
Roasted Chicken with Tomatoes, Olives and Fresh Herbs
1½ lbs chicken breasts, bone in, skin on – $5.39
1 pint grape tomatoes, whole – $3.99
1 cup pitted kalamata olives – $3.99
3 cloves of garlic, whole – stock
¼-cup chicken broth – stock
2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper – stock
Plenty of fresh herbs, chopped roughly (I like a mix of fresh basil and fresh thyme, de-stemmed) – $1.79
Grand total assuming well-stocked kitchen: $15.16
Cost per serving: $5.05
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon of oil over med-high heat. Brown the chicken, skin-side-down only. Set aside.
3. In a glass, ceramic or stoneware baking dish, toss the olives, garlic and grape tomatoes with remaining olive oil and chicken broth and season with a little salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Place the browned chicken on top, skin side up. Roast for 45 minutes, uncovered, or until chicken is cooked through (juices will run clear when meat is pricked).
4. Garnish with plenty of chopped fresh herbs and serve with a slice of crusty bread.