Source: The Working Family's Cookbook

Chicken with Summer Tomatoes
This lovely chicken dish is best in the summer when you can get vine-ripened tomatoes bursting with flavor.
Serves: 6 to 8
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 1/2 hours


2 chickens, about 2 1/2 pounds each
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, or one teaspoon of dried thyme
1 lemon, halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 small onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 pounds tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano, or 1 tablespoon chopped, fresh oregano
1/2 cup white wine
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons chopped chives
salt, to taste
freshly ground pepper, to taste

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Season each chicken's cavity with salt, pepper, thyme, and a lemon half. Close each cavity and truss the birds with kitchen twine. (It is not necessary to truss, but it helps keep the chicken moist.)

Heat the olive oil and butter in a large casserole over medium-high heat. Beginnning with the breast sides down, cook the chickens on top of the stove for about 20 minutes until golden, turning occasionally. Transfer to a platter until ready to continue cooking.

Skim as much fat as you can from the pan, leaving 2 to 3 tablespoons. Add the onion and garlic to the pan, reduce the heat to medium, and cook for about 5 minutes until the onion softens. Add the tomatoes, oregano, wine and broth and cook over high heat for 10 to 15 minutes until the tomatoes give off most of their liquid and the sauce is slightly thickened.

Return the chicken to the casserole and baste with the sauce. Cover with a lid or foil and roast for about 1 hour or until the juices run clear when a leg is pierced.

Put the chickens on a carving board to rest briefly. Skim any fat from the juices in the pan and cook over high heat to reduce the liquid and intensify the flavor. Taste for seasoning and keep warm.

Carve the chicken and serve. Pass the sauce separately.