Tender and Crisp Chicken Legs with Sweet Tomatoes

Source – Jamie Oliver

Serves 4

The first time I tried this was when TP & I were in AKL and we had some chicken legs and I was too lazy to cook it well. I stumbled upon this recipe on slow roasting chicken legs and so gave it a try. It was the most beautiful roast chicken I’ve ever made. We didn’t have tomatoes so I threw in some fresh plums that we bought at the market that morning. They were tart by the time we served the dish.

I served the chicken with roasted pumpkin and alio olio spaghetti.

Ingredients

• 4 chicken legs, preferably free-range or organic, jointed
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• a big bunch of fresh basil, leaves picked, stalks finely chopped
• 2 big handfuls of red and yellow cherry tomatoes, halved, and ripe plum tomatoes, quartered
• 1 whole bulb of garlic, broken up into cloves
• 1 fresh red chilli, finely chopped
• olive oil

optional:
• 1 x 410g tin of cannellini beans, drained
• 2 handfuls of new potatoes, scrubbed

Method

Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Season your chicken pieces all over and put them into a snug-fitting pan in one layer. Throw in all the basil leaves and stalks, then chuck in your tomatoes. Scatter the garlic cloves into the pan with the chopped chilli and drizzle over some olive oil. Mix around a bit, pushing the tomatoes underneath. Place in the oven for 1½ hours, turning the tomatoes halfway through, until the chicken skin is crisp and the meat falls off the bone.

If you fancy, you can add some drained cannellini beans or some sliced new potatoes to the pan and cook them with the chicken. Or you can serve the chicken with some simple mashed potato. Squeeze the garlic out of the skins before serving. You could even make it part of a pasta dish – remove the chicken meat from the bone and shred it, then toss into a bowl of linguini or spaghetti and serve at once.

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