Roast Chicken with Green Beans, Tomatoes, and Olives
A summertime recipe for those tomatoes and green beans just waiting to be picked!
Summertime, and the livin’ is easy. Remember that song? On our little patch of heaven, produce is at its peak, begging to be picked. Green beans and tomatoes, in particular, can be harvested just about every day.
One of my family’s favorite dinners is roast chicken with green beans, tomatoes and a handful of Greek olives tossed in.
This dish makes a lot of sauce, so we like to serve it with a side of aromatic rice. I’ve included that recipe for you, too.
Roast Chicken with Green Beans, Tomatoes, and Olives
The recipe calls for marinating chicken for depth of flavor, but if you’re in a hurry, no worries. Roast the chicken without marinating. Just put chicken, half the tomatoes and all of the olives in a sprayed baking pan. Pour marinade over and continue with recipe.
Since the green beans are simply blanched and added to the pan during the last few minutes of roasting, they retain their bright green color and fresh flavor.
The marinade can be made ahead of time.
- About 3 pounds favorite chicken pieces, bone-in, skin-on
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 6 tablespoons honey, divided
- Palmful fresh oregano leaves, minced or 1 and 1/4 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 very generous tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 4-6 nice-sized garden tomatoes, cut into quarters
- 3/4 cup Greek olives, drained and cut into halves or quarters
- 1 pound fresh green beans, stringed, cut in half if necessary and blanched
- Whisk lemon juice, three tablespoons of honey, oregano, thyme, garlic, oil, salt, and pepper together. Place chicken in large, resealable bag. Pour marinade over chicken. Seal bag, pressing out air.
- Let marinate one hour to overnight in refrigerator.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Remove chicken from marinade. Save marinade. Arrange chicken in sprayed casserole in single layer, skin-side-up.
- Place half of the tomatoes around the chicken. Sprinkle on the olives.
- Pour marinade over all.
- Drizzle remaining three tablespoons honey on top of the chicken and tomatoes.
- Roast for 45 minutes, until chicken registers 165 degrees F. Juices will run clear.
- While chicken is roasting, blanch green beans: bring a pot of water to a boil, add beans and cook about two minutes. They will turn bright green and be crisp-tender. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop cooking process. This can be done ahead.
- After 45 minutes, add the green beans and rest of quartered tomatoes to the casserole pan. Nestle them into the pan juices. Continue to cook five to 10 minutes.
- Serve with a side of rice along with crusty bread to soak up the generous amount of sauce.
- Put smaller pieces in the middle to keep them from becoming overcooked, as heat starts from the outside edges and works its way into the center of the pan.
- Don’t let thermometer touch bone when checking chicken. You won’t get an accurate reading.
Stovetop Cooked Rice with Aromatics
Cooking aromatics in a bit of olive oil before adding rice elevates plain cooked rice to another level. Recipe can be doubled or tripled.
- 1 cup favorite rice (we like long grain)
- Olive oil
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup onion or shallot, minced
- 1 nice clove garlic, minced
- Thyme — a small sprig or a couple of pinches dry thyme (optional)
- 2 cups chicken broth
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Parsley for garnish (optional)
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a saucepan. Add onion and cook for a few minutes, until it starts to turn translucent, then add garlic and thyme and sauté just until garlic smells fragrant. This won’t take long.
- Pour in chicken broth, bring to a boil, add rice and lower to a simmer.
- Cover and cook until rice is done. Timing will depend on the type of rice used. Follow package directions for cooking time. Long grain takes about 20 minutes. If you used a sprig of thyme, remove the stem.
- Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
- When cooking onion and garlic, put onion in the pan first, and then add the garlic after onion cooks a bit. Garlic cooks so fast and tends to burn if overcooked.
Augment canned chicken broth with necks, backs.
No kidding, to add nutrition and lots of flavor to canned broth, add raw chicken necks and/or backs to a pan of canned broth.
- Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until chicken is done. Remove chicken and refrigerate broth overnight. Fat will congeal on the top, making it easy to remove.
- Broth can be frozen up to six months.
Think ahead and freeze extra herbs!
In summer, my herbs grow so prolifically that I need to prune them often. Along with drying the herbs, I like to freeze them in ice cube trays. Herbs frozen this way have an almost fresh picked flavor in cooked dishes.
- Place a tablespoon or so of herbs in ice cube trays and pour just enough water over the herbs to cover them. Freeze hard, then pour another layer of water on top. Freezing in two layers prevents herbs from getting freezer burn.
- When frozen, remove and put in freezer proof containers. Herbs frozen this way keep for up to a year.
- Herbs can also be frozen in melted butter or oil, using the same technique as freezing with water.
- When substituting fresh frozen herbs for dried herbs called for in recipes, use about three times as much fresh frozen herbs as dried. (Dried herbs contain no moisture, so their flavor is more intense.)
Originally published in the August/September 2019 issue of Backyard Poultry and regularly vetted for accuracy.