Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Everyday Crispy Baked Chicken with Basil and Cherry Tomatoes

I have strongly recommended this Jamie Oliver recipe many times and I want to do so one more time.

Easy. Healthy. Tasty. Impressive. Practical. No exotic, expensive or inaccessible ingredients. Little preparation time. Only one dish to wash. It passes all these criteria with flying colours.

Five ingredients: Chicken legs (6-8), garlic (as much or as little as you like), cherry tomatoes (8), basil (a handful), fresh red chillies (2).
Preparation time: FIVE WHOLE MINUTES!
Marination time: Zero
Oven time: 90 minutes

1. Rub chicken skin on with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
2. Cut cherry tomatoes into half.
3. Crush garlic with skin on. (No mincing needed)
4. Wash basil. Pluck leaves and cut stalk into small pieces.
5. Place everything in a dish to go into a preheated oven. Arrange chicken in one single layer. Tuck all other ingredients underneath or in between chicken. Give it 2-3 good lugs of quality extra virgin olive oil.
6. Bake for 90 minutes at 180C. No need to check, turn, baste. Just get yourself ready for dinner in 90 minutes.
7. Serve with salad or rice.

End result you're looking for:
- Chicken with crispy skin and meat so tender they fall off the bones.
- Garlic will not be pungent but soft to the bite, with texture like mashed potatoes.
- Tomatoes will be sweet and lip-smacking sticky.
- An added bonus is that the olive oil mixed with all the nutrients from the various ingredients becomes a gravy that my kids love to pour into their rice.
- If there are any leftovers, toss them with pasta the next day.

- Select the fan circulation button on your oven.
- Don't turn the chicken or you'll lose the crisp on the skin.
- Don't be tempted to cut short the cooking time even though chicken is already cooked after 60 minutes. Slow cooking gives food more flavour.

See my first attempt in June 2011. 


  1. Its that simple? Unbelievable!

    1. Yeah! Do try it. And remember to thank Jamie Oliver!

  2. Thanks for the recipe - perfect as I have some cherry tomatoes to use!

    1. Hi Alice, that sounds great. Let me know how it goes.


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