Why oh why it’s taken me so long to discover the wonderous simplicity of savory traybakes is a mystery?. An impressively tasty meal with minimum prep, mess or fuss that the whole family can enjoy. And great to place on the dinner table for everyone to hungrily dig in to and help themselves, which is always fun and sociable. They’re definitely the way forward to perfect family fodder in my book. Since my ‘discovery’ I have to confess to their over-zealous appearance on the Chez Foti table, but when the kids are eagerly tucking in, as without fail they do to a traybake, how can I not?!.
And this particular one’s most definitely my Traybake du Jour, with asparagus suddenly appearing at more reasonable end of season prices. Simply chicken pieces, new potatoes and asparagus all roasted together in a yumminess of lemon, garlic, fresh thyme and green olives. Since Jacques has recently acquired a taste for olives (bordering screaming obsession!) I seem to be adding them to everything these days; luckily his olive adverse big sister’s quite happy to pick them out and pass them over his way. And if you’ve never tried asparagus roasted with such heady flavours believe me you’re missing out. Divine. And always a bit of fight as to who gets the last spear….
Admittedly this is hardly a recipe, rather a throwing together of a few select ingredients. Traybakes are obviously open to a good deal of seasonal variation…and a handy way of clearing out your fridge! Carrots, parsnips, squash, peppers, courgettes, sweet potato and onions all roast handsomely and you could also vary your meat to pork or sausages (or leave out altogether), and of course opt for ‘old’ tatters when the newbies aren’t around. And as for the herbs, throw in whatever you have! Orange segments are also a tasty variation to the lemon, particularly with chicken, red pepper and black olives.
Now for the challenges, as there’s plenty of thyme involved to Lavender & Lovage’s Herbs on Saturday event. To Javelin Warrior’s Made with Love Mondays as it’s a made from scratch meal. And finally to Ren Behan’s Simple and in Season as asparagus is unquestionably still in season!.
Chicken, Asparagus & New Potato Traybake
Great for: Toddlers & Pre-Schoolers, Big Kids, Grown Ups, Family Dinners, Week-end Slowies, Mid-week Suppers
Serve with: plenty of steamed veggies
Serves: a family of four, just throw in as much as you think you’ll all eat (I always add a few extra potatoes for tasty leftovers):
600g new potatoes, scrubbed but skin left on
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 – 6 chicken pieces, I usually opt for thighs or legs, free range
1 dessertspoon fresh thyme leaves
4 garlic cloves, peeled but left whole
1 lemon, one half juiced the other half cut into 6 segments
salt and pepper (no salt for toddlers)
1 bunch of asparagus, washed
a handful or two of green olives, optional (feel free to omit if you’re not olive lovers)
Special Equipment: a large hob-proof roasting tin
1. Pre-heat your oven to 200ºC/Gas 6.
2. Cut any of the larger potatoes in 2 or 3 and leave smaller ones whole. Par-cook them for 8 minutes in boiling water. Drain and set aside.
3. While the potatoes are boiling heat the oil in a large hob-proof roasting tin. Brown the chicken pieces on all sides and take off the heat.
4. Once the chicken’s browned throw the potatoes into the tin along with the thyme, garlic cloves, juice of half a lemon, and a pinch of salt and pepper (no salt if you’re making for toddlers). Give everything a good stir around and place in the pre-heated oven for 25 minutes.
5. Prepare the asparagus by bending each spear and snapping off the woody ends, discard the ends.
5. Remove the roasting tin from the oven and throw in the asparagus spears, lemon segments and the olives if using. Give everything a good stir and place back in the oven for a further 20 to 25 minutes. Take out of the oven and stir everything around a little a couple of times during this period.
6. It’s ready when the chicken and potatoes are fully cooked through and golden.
7. Place on the dinner table and let everyone help themselves. Perfect family fun fodder!
You might also like:
June 9th, 2013 at 2:27 pm
love how versatile this recipe is! You can throw any leftover veggies into the tray. Yum 🙂
June 12th, 2013 at 8:51 am
Yep, they pretty much all work….but then I’m a big fan of roasted veggies!
June 9th, 2013 at 2:39 pm
Oh I love this!! I haven’t done a tray bake in a while, my Mom always used to make with chicken, potato, onion and carrot. I love the asparagus included. One pot meals are my favorites and everything is flavored with the chicken drippings. YUM!
June 12th, 2013 at 8:52 am
One Pot Dinners Rock! You have all the flavours of a roast dinner but without the effort ….. or washing up. And yes the chicken dripping adds a wonderful flavour to everything!
June 9th, 2013 at 3:32 pm
OMG! I LOVE this – this is SUCH a brilliant recipe and thanks to so much for entering it into Herbs on Saturday (Cooking with Herbs) Karen
June 15th, 2013 at 2:21 pm
Thanks Karen! The roasted asparagus really takes it to another level!
June 9th, 2013 at 5:31 pm
Yum I love tray bakes, partly because they’re really delicious and partly because I’m really lazy 😉
June 15th, 2013 at 2:22 pm
Yep, I’m with you on both counts. All the flavour and deliciousness of a roast dinner but without the fuss or mess.
June 9th, 2013 at 5:52 pm
I love the idea of a traybake – it’s the perfect way to feed a whole group or family with so little fuss! And perfect for cleaning out the fridge. And it’s all so healthful… Wonderful idea and I’m keeping this in mind for my next family gathering 🙂
June 15th, 2013 at 2:23 pm
Thanks Mark, would be wonderful for family gatherings as there’s so little effort required and everyone can tuck in and take what they fancy!
June 9th, 2013 at 11:50 pm
This looks so delicious and easy Louisa! I have chicken legs in the freezer and very cheap, freshly picked asparagus a lovely bike ride away so am going to try this out very soon. You are so brilliant at thinking of tasty, healthy, family meals that aren’t time consuming to prepare.
June 15th, 2013 at 2:24 pm
Ah thanks Andrea, freshly picked asparagus a bike ride away sound AMAZING. Better get on your bike quick though, before the season ends!
June 10th, 2013 at 7:29 pm
What a great all in one dinner! I love the simplicity but deliciousness of all the ingredients. Asparagus is almost over….I shall have to have a weep. xx
June 15th, 2013 at 2:25 pm
I’m sure it’s relatively short season makes it all the more tasty eh? Big fan of asparagus, but roasted in chicken juices, olive oil, thyme, garlic and lemon is sublime. Truly!.
June 13th, 2013 at 3:21 pm
wonderful recipe Louisa. I love traybakes/potroasts like this for dinners.bookmarking this one for a midweek supper
June 13th, 2013 at 4:07 pm
Thanks Nazima, I meant to post it a little earlier for the One Ingredient Challenge….but life’s been a little hectic to say the least lately! Eh well.
June 29th, 2013 at 7:54 pm
[…] from Chez Foti: Chicken, Asparagus and New Potato Traybake – An easy and yet delectable tray bake, with herbs of […]
July 11th, 2013 at 4:20 pm
[…] The lovely Luisa from Chez Foti sent across a Chicken, Asparagus and New Potato Traybake – as Luisa says, there is great simplicity in a traybake – thank […]