What’s cooking today: Chicken, tomato & bacon casserole

What’s cooking today: Chicken, tomato & bacon casserole
Tony Jackman’s chicken, tomato and bacon casserole, served in a bowl by Mervyn Gers Ceramics. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

Tomato and bacon are a sublime pairing, especially when cooked together slowly. Add chicken thighs and it’s perfect for a weeknight family supper.

We had an abundance of tomatoes because I kept adding them to my shopping lists thinking we were out of them. When I arrived home with even more, it became clear that I needed to come up with a recipe involving many tomatoes.

I thought of adding black olives as well, because that’s a logical next step when concocting a one-pot dish involving tomatoes and bacon, but that’s a recipe I’ve done before and also, while the olives do add something, their inclusion makes it a Mediterranean or particularly Spanish style of dish. And I wanted tomatoes to be the hero, with the way they interact so deliciously with bacon.

(Serves 4)


8 chicken thighs, skin on

3 Tbsp olive oil

2 red onions, chopped 

3 garlic cloves in thin slivers

4 medium tomatoes, chopped

10 baby tomatoes, quartered

200 g streaky bacon, chopped

2 green or red chillies, chopped

120 g tomato paste

400 ml chicken stock

Salt and black pepper

1 Tbsp cornflour dissolved in 2 Tbsp water

Saman (or other) rice, cooked, for serving

Coriander leaves for garnish


In a deep iron casserole, brown the chicken thighs in olive oil and reserve.

Preheat the oven to 200℃.

In the same pot, sauté the onions and garlic in olive oil. Add the chopped bacon and continue sautéing while stirring so that the bacon bits separate from one another.

Add all of the chopped tomatoes and chillies. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Return the chicken thighs to the casserole, cover with chicken stock and stir in the tomato paste.

Put the lid on and put it in the oven until the chicken is tender, between 60 and 90 minutes.

Remove the casserole to the stove top and stir in the dissolved cornflour. Simmer on a low heat while the sauce thickens. I served it with Spekko’s saman white rice, which hails from Uruguay and has a beautiful silky texture. It was the first time I’d cooked it and I’m a fan. DM/TGIFood

Tony Jackman is Galliova Food Champion 2021. His book, foodSTUFF, is available in the DM Shop. Buy it here

Mervyn Gers Ceramics supplies dinnerware for the styling of some TGIFood shoots. For more information, click here.

Follow Tony Jackman on Instagram @tony_jackman_cooks. Share your versions of his recipes with him on Instagram and he’ll see them and respond.

SUBSCRIBE to TGIFood here. Also visit the TGIFood platform, a repository of all of our food writing.


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