Is it Sunday already? I had something else in the works for today, but things change. This is an original recipe, sort of. The relish is a recipe I’ve had for years, always used with grilled pork. This time, I thought why not bake chicken and bury the chicken in Italian Relish? My guys thought it was awesome. I thought it was good, but grilled chicken would have been better. I’ll need to play around some more this summer when the old grill comes out of hiding.
In the meantime, hope you enjoy!
Organization is the key to any successful cooking endeavor. Gather all your ingredients and have everything ready.
Note: While this recipe calls for Kosher Salt, unless it’s for Kosher reasons, any flaky salt will do. I was out of Kosher Salt and (shock of shocks, there was none on the shelves at the grocery store); so I substituted Cyprus Flake Salt. It turned out fine.
Baked Chicken Thighs with Italian Relish
Italian Tomato Relish
¾ lb Roma Tomatoes, seeded, chopped
¾ Cup Chopped Red Onion
3-4 Cloves of Garlic, chopped (about 1-2 tablespoons)
1 Tablespoon Chopped Fresh Basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil
2 Tablespoon Chopped Fresh Oregano or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried Oregano
1/3 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
1 Pinch Kosher Salt (see note above)
Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste
Seed and chop tomatoes, place in a medium-size bowl. When chopping the tomatoes, leave some in larger chunks, some in smaller pieces for a less-uniformed appearance.
Chop Red Onions, add to tomatoes.
Peel, chop and then press garlic directly over the tomato-onion mixture.
If using fresh herbs (best) chop fresh basil and oregano. Add fresh herbs to tomato mixture. If using dry herbs, sprinkle over the tomato mixture.
Pour Red Wine Vinegar over tomato mixture, toss to blend. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let stand for 1-2 hours to allow flavors to mature and fully marry.
Pour relish into a strainer over a glass bowl. Let sit for 10 minutes or so to drain on its own. To complete the draining process and get as much liquid as possible for the pork chops, gently press relish to remove any remaining liquid without mashing tomatoes.
8 Chicken Thighs, boneless, skinless
Sea Salt to taste
White Pepper to taste
Italian Cheese Blend, optional
Lay chicken out on a cutting board. Sprinkle lightly with a little salt and a pinch of white pepper on each side.
Pour liquid from the relish into a casserole dish large enough to snugly hold the chicken thighs.
Arrange chicken in the dish on top of the relish liquid. Pour tomato relish over the chicken. Cover with foil and let marinade for about 30 minutes.
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Bake chicken, covered, for about 30 minutes.
Uncover, and continue to bake until cooked through and beautiful in color, about 10 to 15 minutes longer.
Remove from oven. Arrange thighs on a large serving platter. Spoon relish over the chicken and drizzle with pan liquids.
Serve, garnished with grated Italian cheeses, if desired.