Saturday, May 7, 2011

"Country" Defined

After creating this blog I mulled over the title. "Country Cooking" ... What is it about my cooking, exactly, that makes it "country," other than my physical location? (Although others from the region will tell you I live "in town.") To me, "country cooking" means simple, yet full of flavor.

The recipe below is a perfect example of that.

Originally in the January issue of Real Simple magazine, this recipe does require you to turn on your oven. But some of the ingredients -- grape tomatoes and fresh herbs -- are wonderful to use this time of year. Thankfully we always manage to get a cool day or two in the summer, days that make us pull the jeans and sweathshirts out from the back of the closet and turn on the oven to take the chill out of the house. This recipe is perfect for that kind of day.

Chicken with White Beans and Tomatoes
Recipe from Real Simple magazine

Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes
Serves 4

  • 2 15.5-ounce cans cannelloni beans, rinsed
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 springs fresh oregano, plus leaves for garnish
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 3 lbs. total)

  1. Heat oven to 425ยบ F. In a 9-by-13-inch (or some other large) baking dish, toss the beans and tomatoes with the thyme and oregano sprigs, garlic, red pepper, 1 tablespoon of the oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.

  2. Pat the chicken dry and place on top of the bean mixture, skin-side up. Rub with the remaining tablespoon of oil; season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.

  3. Roast until the chicken is golden and cooked through, 35 to 45 minutes. Sprinkle with oregano leaves.

Tip from the magazine: For even richer flavor, add 1/2 cup dry white wine to the bean and tomato mixture before cooking. Serve the dish with country bread to soak up the delicious sauce.

Note from the chef: I used rosemary instead of oregano because that’s what the supermarket had, and it was delicious.

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