There’s nothing quite like satisfying your hunger by digging into juicy roasted chicken, straight from the bone. There are so many variations on how to season and cook chicken portions, and I’m yet to taste one I didn’t like.
As a busy mum, my current favourite way to cook this cut of chicken is in traybake form. My rationale is that if you’re going to patiently wait for the chicken to roast, you may as well make the most of the time and the meat juices by adding veg to the baking tray. It’s also a winner when it comes to doing the dishes.
When making a traybake I tend to go for either harder root vegetables which take around the same amount of time as the chicken to roast, or softer vegetables which cook at the same time as each other, but quicker than the chicken.
With the latter option, I get around this by browning the chicken on the stove while chopping the veg, reducing the time it needs in the oven. If you prefer to solely use the oven, then you’d need to bake the chicken for 15 minutes before adding the veg to the pan for the remaining 30.
The vegetables in this recipe are what I happened to have to hand when I made this, but you can substitute for anything which would roast within half an hour – such as leeks, aubergines, mushrooms, squash, olives, etc. Using regular tomatoes rather than baby ones gives a deliciously sauce-like consistency to the roasted veg layer which is delicious over anything which can soak it up, such as potatoes or rice, or even chunks of crusty bread.
- 8 x chicken thigh or drumstick portions (or a mixture of both), or 4 chicken leg quarters
- 100g chorizo sausage, cut into chunks
- 1 medium courgette, cut in half lengthways then sliced thickly
- 1 red onion, loosely diced
- 4 medium tomatoes, cut into fat wedges
- 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into chunks
- 6 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
- A handful of fresh basil, or a teaspoon of dried
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Olive oil
- Season the chicken portions generously with salt, pepper and the paprika
- Heat a little olive oil in a large frying pan or skillet. Over a high heat, place the chicken portions into the pan skin side down and cook for 7-8 minutes, until well browned, then turn the chicken over and cook for an additional 7-8 minutes
- While the chicken is browning, chop the vegetables and chorizo into even sized chunks. Squash the garlic cloves with the back of a knife to break the skin slightly
- Preheat the oven to 200C fan
- In a large roasting tray, place the chorizo, vegetables, garlic and basil, and top with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Mix everything together to coat in the oil and distribute the garlic cloves
- Place the browned chicken on top of the vegetable and chorizo and bake in the oven for around 30 minutes, until the chicken is thoroughly cooked through and the juices run clear. To check this, pierce the thickest part of the chicken and ensure there are no pink juices or flesh in sight. If using chicken leg quarters, increase cooking time accordingly
- Spoon over rice, couscous or mashed potatoes to soak up the paprika flavoured cooking juices. Remember to remove the garlic cloves before serving (unless you enjoy roasted garlic, which is rather yummy)