I want to post more recipes that my young adult sons, among others, might actually attempt to cook. One son is already a highly intuitive cook, ranging toward foraged foods, which explains why there is a small shark marinating in buttermilk in my fridge at this very minute. I am not kidding; I wish I was. He could use a little more variety, however, and perhaps a few more dishes his girlfriend might enjoy. His brother has been more comfortable utilizing a full meal plan at university, but being only about a year away from moving into the world with his first job, I know he needs to practice making meals from scratch.
Years ago, when we functioned like normal Americans and had a Costco membership, I developed a dish using some staples I kept on hand at the time: boneless/skinless chicken thighs, 3-cheese tortellini, and an enormous jar of sun-dried tomatoes that took up a lot of space in my refrigerator and seemed to never diminish, no matter how much I tried to incorporate them into my cooking. It was almost like the Hanukkah miracle.
This would be a good dish for the boys to have in their repertoire. I don’t, however, want to get back into the sun-dried tomato stockpile and besides, they are a little passe. We got sun-dried tomatoed out, didn’t we? Oven roasting your own tomatoes, though, makes them deliciously complex and when you make up a batch ahead of time, this dish comes together, well, like a Costco dinner, except that you’ve actually cooked it and not merely assembled it.
Oven Roasted Tomatoes
- 2-3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 lb. tomatoes (heritage varieties, highly recommended), sliced in half, vertically
- 1-2 garlic cloves, slivered
- 6-7 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 good sprig of rosemary
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Add olive oil to a 12″ round or square baking dish, ceramic or glass preferred. Place tomatoes cut side down, without overlapping. Scatter over them the garlic, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper. Roast in a 325 degree oven for as much as 2 hours. Remove when they have the texture you are looking for. I like them to have some caramelization, while still being juicy. Remove to a clean glass jar, capturing all of the roasting oil, and use immediately or refrigerate and use within 5 days.
Oven Fried Chicken
- 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- Salt and pepper
- 4 Tbsp. olive oil
Add olive oil to a 9×13 baking dish. Add flour, salt and pepper to a pie plate. Dredge the chicken pieces to coat with the flour mixture, on all sides. Place in the oiled pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Turn chicken pieces and cook for another 25 minutes or until the coating is crispy and the juices run clear. Allow to rest and cool slightly at room temperature. Cut into 1″ pieces, using two knives, and toss back in the pan oil and juices.
Gnocchi and Assembly
Cook gnocchi according to package instructions. Keep it al dente. Drain gnocchi and toss with chicken in the pan oil and juices. Add the roasted tomatoes and all of their oil. Toss all components. Place in a serving bowl and top with grated parmesan cheese.