I am always pleased to come up with a dish that is a meal in itself—one that combines either chicken or meat with vegetables. This is one of my favorites, and because it is so easy to make, I often serve it at Passover. —Helen Nash
- 5 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 9 garlic cloves
- Kosher salt
- 1/4 Cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Leaves from 10 thyme sprigs, divided
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 6 ounces each)
- 5 plum tomatoes
- 1 Pound Yukon gold potatoes, unpeeled, quartered
- 1/2 Cup pitted black olives, quartered
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 450 F (230 C). With 1 tablespoon of olive oil, grease a glass, ceramic or enamel-lined baking pan (one that is large enough to hold all the vegetables in a single layer).
Step 2: On a cutting board, coarsely chop 4 garlic cloves. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and, using a knife, crush them into a paste. Place the paste in a small bowl and combine it with 1/4 cup lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, the leaves from 5 thyme sprigs and black pepper to taste.
Step 3: With paper towels, pat dry 4 boneless chicken breasts. Season lightly on both sides with salt and pepper. Coat the chicken breasts with the crushed garlic-lemon mixture and set aside.
Step 4: Bring a pot of water to a boiling. Drop 5 plum tomatoes into the boiling water; bring the water back to a boil and drain. Core the tomatoes and slip off the skin. Cut the tomatoes in half widthwise and squeeze gently to remove the seeds. (Some seeds will remain.) Cut the tomatoes in quarters.
Step 5: Thickly slice 5 garlic cloves and spread them in the prepared baking pan along with the tomatoes, 1 pound quartered Yukon gold potatoes, 1/2 cup quartered black olives, 5 sprigs of thyme leaves, and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Roast the vegetables, uncovered, for 20 minutes, or until almost tender.
Step 6: Place the chicken breasts on top of the vegetables and bake, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Turn them over, spoon on some pan juices and bake for another 5 minutes, or until the chicken is slightly pink on the inside. Cover with foil for 1 minute before serving.