For weekday meals, I love simplicity oozing with flavor. For practical reasons and because of work commitments, everyone’s time is limited but it is so important to eat well and plan meals ahead without too many headaches. When I do not organize my meals at home and arrive late from work, I end up either going straight to bed without eating anything or snacking quickly on all the wrong things available. And when this happens too often, tiredness sets in and the spark starts fading away. After all we are what we eat !
This dish is ideal as you can prepare it the night before and it soaks up all the juices and flavors. It is a most delicious meal that only needs to go into the oven to cook. And I chose a photo of the dish just as it came out of the oven as this is exactly what you will have at home, no photo shoots for this dish today ! The rustic look, and I keep stressing how important flavors are, taste and appreciation of flavor and freshness is what it is all about. Of course meals have to be visually attractive but I somehow feel these days that too much focus is made on appearance, on building towers with food and making pretty splatters on plates and then taste and flavor become secondary. I believe that both are important, but taste, texture, flavor and color should always take priority….
For the chicken bake you will need :
4 chicken pieces, depending on size, they can be assorted parts
8 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, two finely chopped, two whole, or if you are too busy leave whole and remove before serving
1 teaspoon of fresh rosemary, chopped plus some extra sprigs left as they are
1 teaspoon dry oregano
½ cup of balsamic vinegar
1 cup Marsala
Maldon salt and freshly ground pepper
Marinate the chicken pieces in the Marsala and balsamic vinegar. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Add the herbs and garlic. Cover and leave overnight in the fridge.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Take the chicken out of the fridge. Add the mushrooms, I left mine whole, but you can chop them up if you prefer. Cook in the oven for 45 minutes, covered for the first 15. It should be crispy and soft and moist inside ….
I served mine with our local tomatoes, fat plump ones and Mediterranean arugula, dark olives and freshly brined capers and you might think too tangy perhaps but it’s a wow! as the bitterness compliments the ripe tomatoes and the sweetness of the Marsala with the chicken dish …
And I have had questions this week about cutting prickly pears without gloves. As you can see below, I do use gloves for cutting prickly pears most of the time but if you don’t have any available, it is possible to do without! …