This dish is so easy to prepare, you just can't believe such beautiful flavour can come from something so simple. I actually knew it would be delicious before it was ready because the aroma coming from my oven was amazing.
Now I use dry cured streaky bacon which I get at my local deli, but you could use pancetta or bacon. But if you can get the dry cured one, do it, it is delicious.
The tomatoes, go for the Roma tomatoes, much easier to deseed a roma, than any other tomato. The sauce made from the tomatoes is not a thick tomato sauce, it is a light, thin one, but packed full of flavour.
To peel a tomato, just using a sharp knife, cut a cross at the top of the tomato, place them in a bowl that just fits them, top with boiling water from the kettle, leave for 30 seconds, take out of the water and the skin should come off easily.
I love the garlic added, but my family don't, they take it out. So add it if you love garlic, or leave it out, the flavour is great either way.
You can use normal bacon, works just the same if you prefer.
Now the original recipe was for boned rabbit, so if you like rabbit, try it this way.
I do love dinners that are easy to prepare and that go into the oven, after the initial prep is done, I get to relax while dinner is cooking.
1kg skinless chicken thigh fillets
2-3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced (optional)
250g packet Dry Cured Streaky Bacon
1kg roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons olive oil
If your chicken thigh fillets are large, cut them in half down the middle, if small leave whole.
Cut the bacon slices in half. You just want lengths that will just wrap around your piece, don't make them too long.
Lightly season your chicken thigh fillets. Place a thin slice of garlic on each piece of chicken. Place the centre of your bacon strip over the garlic and wrap the bacon around the chicken thigh fillet, making sure the garlic is held in place with the bacon, and the bacon join is on the underside of the fillet. Repeat until all are wrapped in the bacon.
Preheat your oven to 200C/180C fan forced.
Once your tomatoes are peeled, deseeded and chopped, place in a stainless steel saucepan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cook them over medium heat, stirring occasionally, once simmering reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, until they have softened and released some of their liquid. Season with a little salt and pepper, and stir in the basil. Taste for seasoning.
Pour your tomato sauce into the base of a baking dish, that will fit all of the chicken in one layer. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
Arrange the chicken (presentation side up) on top of the tomato sauce. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and place uncovered in the oven for 40-50 minutes. You can baste the chicken occasionally, but I don't as I like the bacon to crisp up a little on top.
Serve hot on a bed of mashed potato.
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