Peasant cooking is simple and traditional, but also warm and embracing. It is sometimes seen as unsophisticated and rustic as well as earthy, retro, and exciting. This dish is down to earth, welcoming, and makes the entire house smell like an Italian cucina. Serve it hot with creamy polenta.
- 4 chicken breasts, bone in with skin
- 2 cups grape tomatoes
- 12 unpeeled cloves of garlic
- olive oil, for drizzling
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup basil leaves, torn
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Coat a roasting pan with olive oil and place the chicken in the pan.
- Add tomatoes and garlic around the sides of the chicken. Drizzle with olive oil. Season ingredients with salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour the chicken broth in the bottom of the pan.
- Roast for 30-40 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken reaches 180 degrees and until the skin is golden brown and crispy. If you need to add more time, watch it carefully so it doesn’t burn.
- Remove from oven and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and carve into smaller pieces. Reserve juices. Stir basil leaves into the pan.
- Ladle some of the tomato basil mixture onto plates and top with the chicken. If serving with polenta, ladle tomato basil mixture on top of the polenta and top with the chicken. Cin cin!
Serve this rustic dish with a bottle of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. The Montepulciano grape is grown in the Abruzzo region of east-central Italy. One of the most widely exported wines in Italy, it is dry with soft tannins. In addition, up to 15% Sangiovese is permitted in the blend to help fill out the wine. Wines aged by the maker for more than two years may be labeled “Riserva.” Additionally, all Montepulciano d’Abruzzo wines must have a minimum alcohol level of at least 12%, so designate your driver or go on a long neighborhood walk and watch a good film.
Movie Night suggestion: “Revenge is a dish best served cold.” Death Rides a Horse (1967). Bill (John Phillip Law) sets out to track down the outlaws who murdered his family from the clues he remembers as a child from that night. Ryan (Lee Van Cleef), after being released from prison, is on the trail of the same gang, having been double-crossed by them. What starts as rivalry turns into a deadly partnership.