Monday, July 30, 2007

Bacon Chicken on Roasted Tomatoes

You all know the rest of the saying. "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach." Yeah, my husband thinks I'm a crazy loveable little freak when I leave pictures like the ones I showed you yesterday. But what really speaks to him is of course food! Sure he likes a good manly beef steak but he also loves a refined gourmet treat every now and then. And for pity's sake this one involves bacon. It might be a fancypants meal but since it involves bacon I dare say it could still fit into the manly meal category.

Tonight I decided that I had had enough of eating with the children. No offense to the little darlings. I love them to pieces but every once in a while it's nice to eat in peace and quiet. So the children were fed early. They stuffed their faces with their vitamin and nutrient rich rations of Kraft Mac 'n' Cheese and quickly carted upstairs to watch a movie.

Meanwhile I started our dinner. And oohhh was it yummy!

First I started with 5 Campari tomatoes.

I bought a whole box of them from Costco a couple of days ago thinking I would make salsa with them but oh dear... I think I now have other plans.

I washed them and cut them all in half.

And I placed them all on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.

Then I thinly sliced four or five cloves of garlic. I bought a little pot of herbs early this Summer because my attempt at growing herbs from seeds was a royal failure. I've learned my lesson, baby seeds do about as well under my care as indoor plants do. They die cruel and torturous deaths. I went out to that and gathered a handful of the following (not a handful of each but a handful altogether), Rosemary, thyme, oregano and basil, brought them inside and chopped them up.

I covered the tomatoes in the sliced garlic and herbs and then drizzled them with olive oil and a bit of red wine vinegar, sprinkled them with kosher salt and placed them in a 275 degree oven for about 2 hours (I use the "roast" feature on my convection oven. Once they were in, I started with the chicken.

I used boneless skinless chicken thighs. First I placed foil on another baking sheet. I laid the chicken out on the foil and repeated the same routine with the garlic and seasonings (sliced garlic, chopped herbs and placed them on the chicken).

Meanwhile, I peeked into the oven to check on how the tomatoes were looking and Mmmm, they were splattering and spluttering away and smelling very yummy.

Then I covered all of the chicken in half slices of bacon and popped them into the oven next to the tomatoes about half way through the roasting process.

I didn't really time the cooking of the chicken. I just kept checking on it and when the bacon looked nice and crispy I took out both the tomatoes and the chicken. The tomatoes were very dark in color and considerably shorter than they were when they went in.

I quickly threw together a green salad. Then I prepared our plates while the hubby was upstairs getting our toddler into bed.

I laid five halves of tomatoes in a circle in the center of a plate and then placed the chicken on top of it (about 1 1/2 thighs per serving). I cut another little sprig of Rosemary for a garnish and put it in the middle of the chicken.

I drizzled a drop of olive oil and a drop of balsamic vinegar in four spots around the plate and voila! It was done.

And Ooooh were those tomatoes every good. They were like candy. They were like heaven. They were better than... well... okay, they were just stinkin' good!

This sounds very Martha Stewart and very labor intensive but really, it was very simple and required very little in the way of preparation except for having fresh herbs at your disposal. Fresh herbs make all the difference in flavor.

And I am about the furthest thing from Martha Stewart. We eat like this (gourmet and alone) about twice a year so naturally I have to tell the world when it actually comes out as yummy as I imagined it! I hope you try it and enjoy!