Rowan Student Chef: Tomato-Garlic Chicken

Kitchen table with plates and a home cooked meal

When leaving home and attending college, a step is taken in a direction that leads one to be more independent and self-sufficient. Part of this growth means handling your own meals and cooking for yourself. I remember my first time cooking; it was an intimidating but surprisingly easier than expected experience. Once the ingredients are gathered the rest just involves mixing ingredients and placing them into a container to be cooked.

Counter top with chicken, rice, and green beans along with various seasonings
Ingredients involved with making tomato, garlic chicken

One of my best dishes is a tomato-garlic chicken. It takes longer to cook, but it is a very delicious dish that is worth the wait. To start, I mix the ingredients into a container that can be placed in the oven. This involves me taking grape tomatoes and cutting them into pieces, after which I soak them in olive oil with chopped garlic added in there. Additionally, for seasoning, I sprinkle salt, pepper, and oregano into the mix. While preparing the seasoning for the chicken I also preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the oven is preheated I put the tomato and garlic seasoning (without the chicken) into the oven to be cooked for 20 minutes.

While the mixed ingredients are being cooked I begin to prepare the chicken breasts. I do this by mixing a small bowl of butter, garlic and olive oil together to be spread onto the chickenCooked chicken with chopped grape-tomatoes and garlic in bowl with serving spoon. After the ingredients in the oven have been cooked and the chicken has been marinated with the butter, garlic spread I place the chicken breasts into the original mixed ingredients from the oven. I also like to make sure to spread the mix all over the chicken to ensure it is well marinated while cooking.

Now comes the easiest part – waiting! I now place the marinated chicken into the oven, still set at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, to be cooked for 45 minutes. During this time I set the table, prepare side foods to go with the chicken (I chose green beans and white rice), clean up my mess from making the food, and then if I still have some time left I just relax. In total, this dish will usually take me about an hour just to make, but it is very much worth the extra time. I can also experiment with different seasonings and ingredients to create new tastes and flavors – that’s the most exciting part of cooking. The possibilities are practically endless.

What you need: oven, baking dish, mixing bowl, spoons, sharp knife, cutting board

Ingredients: chicken breasts, grape tomatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano, butter, garlic

What to do: preheat oven; assemble and cook marinade; cook chicken with marinade

Story and photography by: Alexander Belli, senior
Double major, advertising and public relations