BAKED CHICKEN WITH WHITE BEANS AND TOMATOES
- 6 (1/4 lb total) bacon slices, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 4 large chicken thighs with skin & bones, (1 1/2 lbs. total)
- 2 medium onions, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
- 1 (14- to 16-oz) can stewed tomatoes including juice
- 2 (15- to 16-oz) can small white beans, rinsed and drained
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.
Cook bacon in a 10-inch heavy ovenproof skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer bacon with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain, reserving fat in skillet.
While bacon is browning, pat chicken dry and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Brown chicken in fat in skillet over moderately high heat, turning over once, about 8 minutes total, then transfer chicken with tongs to paper towels to drain.
Pour off all but 3 tablespoons fat from skillet and reduce heat to moderate. Cook onions in skillet with 1/4 teaspoon salt, stirring and scraping up any brown bits, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Stir tomatoes and juice into onions and boil, uncovered, 3 minutes, to concentrate juices slightly. Stir in bacon and beans and bring to a simmer. Nestle chicken, skin side up, in beans and bake, uncovered, until chicken is cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes.
If you don't have an ovenproof skillet, after simmering bean mixture transfer it to a shallow 2- to 3-quart baking dish, then add chicken and bake as above. Add some persillade (chopped garlic minced with flat-leaf parsley), grated lemon rind, and one or two minced anchovy fillet before it goes in the oven