Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Easy All In One Chicken

I am starting to get just a little fed up of chicken. But this way of cooking is rather delicious and not at all boring, so maybe I'll manage not to throw it at a wall just yet...

It's so easy. First of all, chop potatoes into fat chunks, a bit smaller than roast potatoes, but not so small they don't have an inside to stay soft whilst the outside goes crispy. I'm not going to give you quantities, it depends on how many of you there are, but I use two medium potatoes per person if I'm hungry.

Parboil your potato chunks for 5 minutes then drain and allow to steam dry.  Put the oven on now to heat up as high as it can get.

Meanwhile, (quantities for 2 people... multiply up or down accordingly) chop one red and one yellow pepper, two courgettes and a large sweet onion, and put in a bowl with a slug of olive oil, salt and pepper and a nice shake of Mediterranean herbs, or oregano and thyme mixed if you don't have the Med herb blend.   Mix this up well.

Now, and only now (and this is a gooooood tip) add a cubed aubergine. Don't add any more oil, just mix it into the rest of the veg and the aubergine will take up the excess from the already anointed veg, but won't suck it all up so they don't get a chance.

Take a wide flat oiled baking tray (or two or three depending on how many of you there are, and how generous you have been with the veg) with a shallow lip, put the med veggies in the middle, the potatoes around the outside. Drizzle the potatoes with olive oil and season them. Scatter whole unpeeled cloves of garlic over the lot.

In the middle, make hollows for your chicken thighs (one fat big one per person, or more if you are hungry!) and nudge them into the vegs - add a lemon cut into 8ths and tuck that in round the chicken. Season the chicken. 

If you find you just don't have enough room, as you have so many veg, then put the potatoes in a separate pan with a little oil and some herbs and bake separately.

Put the tray(s) into the preheated oven, turn down slightly (to about Gas mk 7) and bake for an hour, switching the trays over half way through if you have more than one. Keep an eye on the trays and turn the veg if you think they need it.

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