Today, I bring to you a one-tray no-fuss feel-good taste-awesome solution.
This solution includes caramelized vegetables, with a tangy kick, crispy edges and the most succulent slow baked tender chicken. While this solution is brilliant for a weeknight dinner, it is even better as a leftover the next day. (Make ahead meals, anyone?)
This Rustic Tray Baked Chicken is inspired by a Jamie Oliver recipe (my personal 15 minute meal hero), is a revelation for 2015. It fits in perfectly with our new found stance of eating healthy and eating good this year, while taking the bare minimum to prep. The oven does almost all of the job in this one.
Minimum effort giving you maximum output recipe? Well, those are simply the best!
To make this recipe a reality, you will need –
This really works with almost any set of vegetables. Just dump in anything you have lying around in your fridge. (Notice my half used Zucchini making an appearance)
Chop up your veggies in chunk sized bites. No need to be perfect, its rustic after all.
Drop all the veggies in the tray you intend to bake in.
Just bruise the garlic using the back of your knife. No need to peel/chop/slice etc. We just want a slight hint of garlic, plus once the garlic bakes with its skin on – it becomes this superbly sweet mushy version of itself.
Throw it in the pan along with the chicken pieces.
Any kind of chicken would do. Just using breasts would get a tad dry, try using thighs or a mix to reap the best flavour.
Now, for the marinade. Drizzle in 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
Add in 2 tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar for that tangy kick we all know and love.
Also, add 1 tablespoon of honey for an add touch of sweetness and to help the chicken and veggies caramelize better.
1 Teaspoon of red chili pepper flakes for a nice hot kick to balance out the sweetness you’ll get from the veggies. Add more if you like things super spicy, omit if you don’t like it too much.
But a little, gives the chicken a nice wholesome flavour. Also, add salt & pepper to taste.
Finally, add in a small bunch of thyme.
Now, use your natural tongs aka your fingers to toss the veggies and chicken in these spices and marinade. Make sure everything is nicely and evenly coated.
Pop this tray in a preheated oven to bake 180ºC for 55-60 min.
For the next hour, go take a bath. Get your work done. Catch up on your reading. Or, in my case – think of doing all of the above but end up wasting time binge watching Jimmy Fallon playing games with celebrities videos on YouTube.
You see why I love this recipe?
Anyway, once that “ding” goes off, you’ll be hit by the most wonderful smell which will engulf you in a hug.
Embrace this hug, caramelized onions and garlic-crunchy vegetables-tender chicken and all with a nice light salad and some bread to scoop up the juices which have gathered at the bottom of the pan.
Rejoice with this healthy tray of baked deliciousness. For not only will you love yourself for this healthy intake of protein and vegetables, your refrigerator will love you too for finally using up those vegetables lying around and storing such lovely left overs after.
Go for it, I say.
- 5-6 Cherry Tomatoes
- 1 Onion
- 1/3 Red Bell Pepper (Medium Sized)
- 1/3 Yellow Bell Pepper (Medium Sized)
- 1/3 Green Bell Pepper (Medium Sized)
- 5-6 florets of Broccoli
- 1/3 cup of sliced Zucchini
- 3-4 Cloves of Garlic
- 150 grams of Boneless Chicken
- 2 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 Tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon of Honey
- 1 Teaspoon of Red Chili Flakes
- 1 Small bunch of Thyme
- Preheat the oven at 180ºC.
- Chop and slice all vegetables, add in the tray you'll use to bake.
- Bruise the garlic cloves, add to tray
- Add chicken pieces to the tray.
- Drizzle in the Olive oil, Balsamic Vinegar and Honey.
- Add chili flakes, thyme and salt and pepper to taste.
- Bake at 180ºC for an hour till everything is golden, caramelized and cooked through.
- Serve hot with a salad and a side of bread.