Meal express - Chicken & Mushroom traybake
When I am short in time, can't be bother to cook and I am tempted to call for a takeaway, this recipe is my saviour. It is cheap, super rapid to make, nutritious, no mess and I usually have all the ingredients in my pantry or freezer (scroll right down for some of my top tips on what to always have).
Preparation 10 mins - cooking 30 mins - serve 4 to 5 people
400g boneless & skinless chicken thighs 400g cherry tomatoes, whole 2-3 medium brown or white onions, chopped in wedges 5 garlic cloves, peeled and slightly crushed 1 tin (400g) butter beans, rinsed and drained
250g chestnut mushrooms, rinsed and halved (or a bag of frozen mixed mushroom)
250ml white wine Za’atar (or Aleppo chilli flakes for more of kick)
Olive oil Salt
Preheat the oven to 180oC.
Prepare your vegetables – onions, garlic, mushrooms, tomatoes, butter beans – and place them all in a large oven tray.
Add the chicken thigh on top, pour the white wine, drizzle the dish with olive oil, salt and sprinkle the za’atar (or the chilli flakes).
Pop in the oven for 20-30mins until the chicken is cooked through. It can be eaten on its own or can be served with some brown rice or a slice of sourdough.
Notes: you can throw in any vegetable you have in your fridge: carrots, leeks, courgettes, kale or cavolo nero – it will taste delicious!
What I have always in my pantry
Cooking white wine - I buy a 3l box of white wine, and keep it next to the stove ready to add to any stew, soup, bolognese sauce, risotto and to simply deglaze a pan.
Frozen vegetables - onions, shallots, garlic, mixed mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, sweet potatoes, Mediterranean grilled veg, soffritto (a mixture of diced carrot, onion and celery), etc.
These are wonderful to deploy when we are short in time or run out of fresh ingredient. Did you know that frozen vegetable are likely to be more nutrient-rich than the fresh vegetables in your fridge?
Frozen sources of protein - chicken, haddock, prawns. These are always coming handing when I have no time to rush to the shop and need to feed a crowd that won't be satisfied with tofu (we are working in this!)
Tinned beans in brine (and chickpeas, lentils) - whether it is to make a quick hummus-type dip or to bulk a dish, tinned beans are fabulously versatile. Add them to a soup, a salad, a traybake. They will up your fibre and protein intake, and bring some interesting micronutrients such as iron, magnesium, folate and other B vitamins.