Easy Dinner Nigel’s Basil Butter Chicken with Baked Tomatoes

Easy Dinner Nigel’s Basil Butter Chicken with Baked Tomatoes
I’m always making Butcher Holler sound like the most backward part of the United States-and I think maybe it is.
Loretta Lynn

Chicken and Baked TomatoesI know I’m in for a food prep exercise when a recipe begins with “have your butcher”…and so it begins with deboning a whole chicken leg, only two bones to deal with and working slowly the task is easily completed since I didn’t have to deal with an attached backbone, look at the video attachment below for good instructions. Mikey doesn’t like dark meat so I deboned a chicken breast for him as well. This recipe is so tasty and easy as were Nigel’s baked tomatoes. Since you can do all of the prep work ahead of time this chicken would be a great flavorful company dish…hint, instead of prepping the grill grates with oil to prevent the chicken from sticking, clean the grill well and get it really hot then save the oil for the chicken, liberally brush oil over the chicken, both sides.

Grilled Chicken with Basil Butter
slightly adapted from Nigel Slater


unsalted butter, 3 tablespoons plus 1+1/2 tablespoons EVOO
torn basil leaves a good handful
lemon ½ and a little grated zest
chicken legs, boned 2
lemon or lime to serve
Mash the butter and oil in a small bowl, then fold in the torn basil leaves, the juice of the lemon half and a little salt and black pepper. Set aside to chill thoroughly. Debone the chicken leg and breast, but leave the skin on, pound each piece with a meat mallet to even out the thickness, season with salt and pepper, cover and refrigerate until ready to grill.

Cook the chicken over a hot grill, turning it once during cooking. The skin-side will smoke quite heavily, so keep the heat quite low. Once the meat is cooked transfer to a warm plate and add a spoonful of basil butter to each one. Serve, squeeze a little lemon and pinches of zest.

Nigel’s baked tomatoes:slightly adapted, cut the tomatoes in half and scoop out the seeds with a small spoon, fill the tomatoes with the stuffing and top with the rest of the crumb stuffing…

Roasted Seasoned Crumb Stuffed Tomatoes slightly adapted from Nigel Slater

6 to 8 tomatoes, halved and seeds removed

1 head of garlic (we know this is a lot but we love garlic – feel free to reduce this by half if you have a hot date )
3 sprigs of fresh thyme

2 heaped tablespoons of breadcrumbs
salt and pepper

3 tablespoons of olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350º.  Slice the tomatoes in half and lay them cut-side up in a shallow baking dish or roasting tin.  Alternately, I like to scoop out the seeds so you can get the crumbs down into the tomato.

Remove the thyme leaves from their stems and put them in a small mixing bowl with 2 1/2 of olive oil. Peel and finely crush the garlic cloves and stir into the olive oil with a generous grinding of sea salt and black pepper.

Stir the breadcrumbs into the oil with the anchovy fillets, roughly chopped. Spoon into and over the tomatoes, drizzle with a little olive oil, and bake for 40 minutes or until the tomatoes are tender and the crumbs lightly crisp.