Jan 16, 2011

Vegetable Tian with Herb Roasted Chicken

Vegetable tian with herb roasted chicken!

When we plan our weekly dinner menu, we try to save the more complex or labor intensive meals for the weekends when we have a little more time on our hands. This was a meal I saved for a Sunday dinner but after all is said and done, it was super easy! It was so easy I actually made a breakfast bread while it was all cooking because I had so much extra time on my hands! So, I can now recommend this meal for any day of the week. You put everything together and then put it all in the oven, which is where the bonus comes! You let things cook in the oven and are left with time to take care of other things around the house. You can multi task and finish with a pretty tasty meal that has all the comforts of a traditional “sunday dinner”!

Here is everything you need!


(Both adapted from Ina Garten. Serves 2 dinner portions.)


  • 2 chicken breasts, with skin and bone
  • Drizzle of olive oil on each chicken breast
  • spice rub: garlic powder, salt and pepper, paprika, and cayenne pepper
  • Fresh rosemary
  • Fresh parsley

Vegetable Tian

  • Olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 or 3 medium red potatoes
  • 1 zucchini
  • 2 or 3 vine tomatoes
  • Fresh thyme leaves
  • Freshly grated asiago cheese
  • Salt and peper

I think it’s best to start with the chicken. Preheat oven to 375. In a small bowl, mix together the spice rub by just adding a little bit of all the spices listed. Really important note is to add just a PINCH of the cayenne pepper! You will have some spicy chicken if you add too much. All of these spices are just for a touch of flavor to go along with the fresh herbs. Take a few sprigs of rosemary and parsley and chop the leaves from the sprigs. When you cut the leaves, you release the oils which will make your chicken especially fragrant and delicious! Cover a baking sheet with tinfoil and lay out the chicken breasts with a drizzle of olive oil on each side. Sprinkle the spice rub on each and use your hands to really rub everything into the skin. Add the fresh herbs to the chicken and then go ahead and pop it in the oven. The chicken can take 40-50 minutes (you’ll need to test it).

Fresh herb chicken breasts ready for the oven!

As you let the chicken start cooking, you can start your vegetable tian. The first thing is to chop your onion and garlic. In a pan on medium heat on the stove, add some olive oil and saute your onions for about 8 minutes. When they start getting translucent add your garlic for just a minute (if you add the garlic too early, it will burn very easily). While the onions saute, you can go ahead and slice up your zucchini, potatoes and tomatoes. It doesn’t have to be perfect but I tried to cut everything with a 1/4 inch thickness. When the onions are done, use some cooking spray to coat a square baking dish (I used an 8 inch dish) and then just pour the onions and garlic in the bottom. This will add great flavor to the vegetables!

Sauteed onions and garlic lining the bottom of a square baking dish.

On top of the onions, layer your remaining vegetables in alternating rows, making only one layer. With one layer, things will be able to cook more evenly and faster! With your vegetables tightly lined up in the pan, sprinkle salt and pepper for taste and then sprinkle fresh thyme leaves on top. One little last drizzle of olive oil, cover with tinfoil and then to the oven it goes!

Vegetable tian ready for the oven!

Let the vegetable tian bake for about 20 minutes and then remove it from the oven and discard the tinfoil and thyme sprigs.

Vegetable tian half way done! Already looks sand smells delicious! Time for cheese!

Sprinkle your cheese on top and the amount you use is really up to you and your preference for how cheesy you like things! With the cheese addition, put it back in the oven, uncovered, to cook for another 15-20 minutes.

Everything should time out pretty well and the vegetables and chicken should be finished at about the same time. If you are making a larger portion of the vegetable tian, it will take longer to bake so you may actually want to start this earlier than the chicken. However, if you are baking a whole chicken that will also take longer. It all just depends on what you’re using and how much your making!

Herb roasted chicken ready to eat!

Vegetable tian out of the oven and ready to eat!

Toast some bakery fresh bread, add the food to the plates and you’re ready to sit down to a delicious meal (any night of the week!). Baking food is always easier on the cook I feel but it is also a way of cooking that brings out the best flavors in everything! The chicken is so moist and juicy but each bite is just fragrant with the fresh herbs and it pairs wonderfully with the herb and cheese vegetables! This is the type of meal to make on a cold night: you take a bite and it just wraps you up in comfort! What better way to end your day! For now, that’s vegetable tian with herb roasted chicken…in the shell of a nut!

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