chicken with summer tomato fondue
August 14, 2007, 8:17 pm
Filed under: in the kitchen

If you can deal with firing up the oven, this is a simply prepared and delicious summer dish. I made it extensively when I lived in Tucson; it provided great leftovers for the rest of the school week and satisfied the boyfriend too. I usually serve it with couscous, pouring the fondue juice in the bottom of the pan over the grain to keep it moist.

I’ve had it filed away in my catch-all binder (clearly printed from a Notepad file) with no idea where I originally got it from. Google tells me it’s a Wolfgang Puck recipe.

Serves 4

6 medium sun-ripened tomatoes
1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 large onion, thinly sliced
1 medium green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1-inch squares
1 medium zucchini, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
One 3 1/2-pound roasting chicken, cut into 8 pieces
Pinch dried thyme
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

First, peel the tomatoes. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil and fill a mixing bowl with water and ice cubes, placing it near the stove. With a small, sharp knife, cut out the core of each tomato and, on the opposite side, score a shallow X in its skin.

One at a time, place the tomatoes on a slotted spoon and lower them into the boiling water, leaving them there until the skin begins to wrinkle, 30 to 45 seconds; then lift them out with the slotted spoon and transfer to the bowl of ice water to cool. With your fingertips, assisted by the knife if necessary, peel the tomatoes, starting at the X. Cut the tomatoes into quarters and, with a fingertip, scoop out and discard their seeds. Set the tomatoes aside.

In a saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute, stirring continuously, until it turns translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the bell pepper and zucchini and saute about 5 minutes more. Add the tomatoes and cook until the vegetables are all tender, 5 to 7 minutes more. Set aside.

Heat a large, heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces, starting skin side down, and saute them until evenly golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes per side. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Spoon half of the vegetable mixture into the bottom of a 1-1/2-quart casserole dish. Arrange the chicken pieces evenly on top of the bed of vegetables. Spoon the remaining vegetables evenly over the chicken. Sprinkle evenly with the thyme, garlic, salt and pepper. Cover the dish and bake for 30 minutes.

Serve the chicken directly from the casserole, either hot or cold.

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