roasted basil tomato and bean chicken

Roasted Tomato & Cannellini Bean Chicken

roasted basil  tomato and bean chickenThis was one of those meals born of that situation where you just want to make something good with what you have on hand… that “wow, I’ve got all these giant cans of whole tomatoes with basil in my pantry, what can I do with that?” feeling.  Chicken leg quarters were on sale the other day, so I bought two large packages.  So I had chicken.  And I was looking at my collection of canned goods, and notice several large cans of tomatoes, with basil flavor.  I usually use whole tomatoes for my chili recipes, but I didn’t picture using the basil flavored tomatoes for that.  So there they keep sitting.

“It’s time to use them!”  I think, and this is the combo I came up with.  I did some googling for ideas, and ran across this dish by Jamie Oliver (& and a few others) and decided to do a “pantry meal” inspired by them.  This is a great weekend meal, as and it takes cooking time, but very little effort to throw together.  I threw in in the oven to cook while we went outside and had fun with the neighbors, then came back in and the house smelled lovely, and dinner was ready!

  • 4 chicken leg quarters (leg & thigh) – remove most of skin and obvious fat.*
  • 1 large can of whole tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 cans cannellini (white kidney) beans [pictured: 1 can cannellini, + 1 can light red kidneys–chick peas would also be tasty in this I think]
  • ~ 1 tbsp dried basil (enough to sprinkle on top of the chicken– i didn’t measure this accurately)  [oregano would be nice as well]  {I’m sure this would be even tastier with big leaves of fresh basil, but as a pantry meal where you work with what you have on hand, dried basil works fine.}
  • I pkg pasta, any shape. (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.

You’ll need a baking/roasting pan/large cast iron skillet large enough to hold your 4 leg quarters in a single layer.  Grease pan with a little olive oil.

Drain tomatoes — save the juice for soup making (I froze mine for later use) —  crush (between your fingers) about 1/3 of them (so they are in large uneven pieces)  in the bottom of your roasting dish.  Add about a third of your beans.

Top with the 4 leg quarters.  Spread your garlic on top of all the chicken pieces.  sprinkle on kosher salt, ground pepper, and a generous amount of basil.

Top with the remaining tomatoes, crushed as above, and the remaining beans… spread around so that a few are on top of the chicken and the rest falls between the pieces.

Place the whole thing in the oven, and cook for ~1.5 hrs, until chicken is tender and come easily off the bone.

Prior to completion of the chicken cooking, boil your pasta to al dente.  Drain and set aside.

Remove your chicken from the oven, and remove the chicken pieces to a platter.  Add your pasta (several cups of it, you may not need the whole amount, depending on how much your family likes pasta) to the remainder, and stir to combine.  Cover and let the pasta sit in the hot juices for about 5 minutes, or until you’re ready to serve.

Chicken can be either served on the bone, or removed from the bone and added to the pasta mixture.

*you can do this with breasts instead, but shorten the cooking time to avoid drying out.



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