Melissa Clark's Chicken Thighs w/ Jammy Tomatoes

I love Melissa Clark, she is a national treasure.

She is a frequent New York Times Food writer and her cookbooks are terrific. I love Dinner: Changing the Game for weeknight inspo.

She certainly changes the game here with these boneless chicken thighs, creating a jammy sauce w/ pancetta and sweet cherry tomatoes.

I was a good girl and followed the directions to a T and served this along with couscous (rice would be good too).

It was a bright spot on an otherwise boring day.

Melissa Clark's Chicken Thighs w/ Jammy Tomatoes & Pancetta: (adapted from the NYT)

1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I used a 10 pack)
kosher salt
9 whole unpeeled garlic cloves (save 1 for the sauce)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more for serving
1 tablespoon pimenton (smoked paprika)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 pint cherry tomatoes (preferably different colors), halved
2 ounces diced pancetta or bacon
1/4 cup torn fresh dill, parsley or other herbs, for serving
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 425F.

The recipe calls for cooking on a sheet pan, but I had just cleaned my oven, and I KNEW that this would be a disaster, so I chose a baking/roasting pan with sides instead....but feel free to use a sheet pan.

Lay the thighs (remember, boneless, skinless here) on or in the pan. Sprinkle with kosher salt & pepper.

Make the sauce:
grate a garlic clove with a microplane (the best way to add raw garlic to dressings, trust me), add in the lemon juice, sugar and spices.

Pour sauce over chicken thighs (I marinated this in the am for best results).

Scatter the rest of the smashed garlic cloves and halved cherry tomatoes around the chicken. Sprinkle more kosher salt on the tomatoes.

Place the chopped bacon on TOP of the dish (don't add the sauce to the bacon or it won't crisp up).

Last step: drizzle a little more olive oil on top of the tomatoes and chicken.

Roast 35 minutes, depending on the size of your thighs (don't answer that).

When you take the dish out of the oven, smash the tomatoes with the garlic to make a yummy pan sauce. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.


weeza said…
This sound delicious! Why unpeeled garlic, though?
Arlene London said…
Hi Stacey -- are you sure it's from her "Dinner" book? I have it here and don't find that recipe in the TOC. The unpeeled garlic does seem a bit weird.
Stacey Snacks said…

Here is the recipe reprinted from the NY Times....

It actually says "to smash the garlic cloves with a knife and peel them".

Stacey Snacks said…
The directions are to smash the garlic cloves with a knife and peel them.
I agree, not sure why the recipe would include "whole garlic cloves".
But I did take the peels grate one into the mixture, then the other 8 you throw into the pan (peels off).....

Arlene London said…
I always smash cloves at least a little -- makes them much easier to peel, so this instruction makes more sense. While it doesn't seem like the recipe's from the "Dinner" book, I thank you for reminding me that I have it. I abruptly find myself on a low salt diet, probably for the rest of my life, so I need lots of new recipes. With just the tiny bit of pancetta, this one surely qualifies.
Stacey Snacks said…
I like Melissa's books and her NYT recipes, I always seem to go back to them...and you know I rarely follow a recipe, and they are most adaptable to what you have on hand.

Helen said…
My mom loves your blog. She is a cooking fan. She love cook for everyone. Thanks for sharing your talent.
Denise said…
Delicious! We had for dinner this evening with chunks of yellow squash and sweet onion, spoon of sugar, s & p cooked In boiling water and brown rice. So good! I plan to serve next Saturday to our grown children and their families. They’ll love it! Thank you.