Tuscan Style Baked Chicken

| April 20, 2011 | 3 Comments
  • 3 Comments

Skillet Baked Tuscan Style Chicken
Skillet Baked Tuscan Style Chicken

Winner winner chicken dinner! There’s no shortage of chicken dinners to choose from out there — baked whole chicken, poached chicken, glazed chicken, fried chicken…so why is this Tuscan Style Baked Chicken worth sharing?

It is so delicious, if you’re in a chicken dinner rut, this is your quick fix. Best of all, this is a one skillet meal with minimal prep work needed. You’ll never guess how easy this is judging from the tender, juicy chicken you get, smothered in roasted tomatoes, melted onions, sweet garlic, rosemary and thyme, and a rich sherry wine sauce.

This baked chicken recipe comes from the unlikeliest of places — my hometown public library. The place has really spruced up since my days of researching book reports there. And, the community events have beefed up too. Tai Chi? Oh yes. Zumba? Boogie down. The library even hosts Chef Nights where chefs from restaurants in the area come in and do a little demo and tasting. During my last visit home, I accompanied my mom to watch chef/owner David Venitelli demo some of the northern Italian fare he makes at Giulio’s by Harvest Moon in Tappan, NY. There in the basement of our local public library, Chef Venitelli showed the housewives of Upper Saddle River and me just how easy this dish is to make.

Start out with chicken quarters, separated into drumsticks and thighs. Rinse and thoroughly pat them dry. Heat up your skillet and add a few tablespoons of oil, then sear the chicken, skin-side down, until a golden brown crust forms. Then, flip the pieces of chicken over and turn the heat off.

sliced onions over chicken
Add sliced onions

To the skillet, add one large onion sliced up, a can of whole peeled tomatoes (I prefer San Marzano or Muir Glen tomatoes) squished through your fingers, half a dozen cloves of garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper.

tomatoes, garlic, and seasonings
Add tomatoes, garlic, and seasonings

Then, the whole thing goes in the oven where the chicken gets braised in its own juices and those of the onions and tomatoes that melt down. After an hour, take the skillet out and add a cup of sherry. This deglazes all the tasty browned bits on the bottom of the pan and creates a rich sauce. You don’t even need to stir anything or scrape the pan, just drizzle the sherry on top. Back into the oven everything goes for another half hour.

And that’s it! Dinner is done. The chicken is super moist and falling-off-the-bone tender. The onions get caramelized, the tomatoes and garlic roast up nice and sweet, the herbs get infused throughout, and that sherry wine sauce makes itself. Served over rice, with a side of Potato Smashers, and that is one fine chicken dinner.

Recipe: Baked Chicken Tuscan Style

Summary:This no-fuss skillet chicken gets braised in its own juices with onions, tomatoes, garlic, and herbs. A cup of sherry towards the end of the cook time deglazes and creates a rich sauce.

By Stephanie Hua

Baked Chicken Tuscan Style

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 1 hr 30 min
Total time: 1 hr 50 min
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 chicken quarters, separated into drumsticks and thighs
  • 1 large onion
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 28 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes, liquid drained (San Marzano or Muir Glen preferred)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or a few fresh sprigs)
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary (or a few fresh sprigs)
  • 1 cup Amontillado sherry
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Rinse and thoroughly pat dry the chicken pieces. Pour a little olive oil in the skillet and place over high heat. Pan-sear the chicken, skin-side down, until golden brown.
  3. While the chicken is browning, cut up the onion into half-moon slivers, and peel and smash the garlic.
  4. Flip the chicken pieces. To the skillet, add the onion, garlic, tomatoes (squishing them through your fingers so they’re broken up — watch out for the squirting seeds), thyme, and rosemary, distributing everything evenly. Sprinkle the salt and pepper over top.
  5. Bake, uncovered, in the oven for 1 hour.
  6. Pour the sherry over the entire pan (no stirring needed, just drizzle it over everything) and roast for an additional 30 minutes.

Culinary Tradition: Italian

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Category: Bay Area Bites Food + Drink, recipes

About the Author ()

Stephanie Hua is the creator of Lick My Spoon, a place for all things delicious. So far she has learned that she very much enjoys salted caramel anything, a good soup dumpling is worth a scalded tongue, and there is no room in life for non-fat cheese and crappy chocolate. Also, a barrel of cheese balls never ends well. Stephanie has been known to choose her company based on how much they can pack it down. Ability to endure cramped quarters, sketchy back alleys, and uncharted paths to seek out that special dish is also a plus in her book. If you fit the criteria, drop a note. You’ll probably get along just fine. Stephanie's writing and photography have been featured in Fodor's Travel, Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Serious Eats, and Sundance Channel. Follow her on Facebook and @lickmyspoon.
  • Amy

    This sounds like a fit for the slow cooker! Any idea how long it would take and at what setting? I’m thinking I’ll try it on low for 5-6 hours?

  • kayo

    I made this tonight — only had a couple small cans of roasted tomatoes with green chilis, so I used those and skipped the rosemary and thyme. I used chicken legs, added the sherry at the 45 minute mark, and cooked the whole thing for about an hour and 20 minutes. It’s great. I’ll make it all the time!

  • http://lickmyspoon.com Stephanie

    @Amy: hmm, I have something to admit. I’ve never used a slow cooker. Please let us know how it turns out though! I’m sure other slow cooker users will thank you :)

    @Kayo: yay! success!! this recipe is one of my staples now – so easy it feels like I’m cheating.