New recipe: One pan chicken with thyme and lovely lemony potatoes
For busy households, for novice cooks, for students going off to uni
Leafing through an Ina Garten cookbook at the weekend I was reminded of this dish I created for my first student cookbook Beyond Baked Beans almost 20 years ago before one pan cooking was even a twinkle in Jamie Oliver’s eye.
It’s really cheap and simple but comforting and tasty - a good recipe to have in your arsenal when you go off to uni (if you’re lucky enough to have accommodation that includes an oven or some kind of mini cooker.)
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4 medium to large potatoes (about 600-700g)
2-3 tbsp olive oil plus a little soft butter
2 small or 1 large lemon, preferably unwaxed
2-3 cloves of garlic
2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme or rosemary or 1 tsp dried oregano
2 tbsp chicken stock or water (see footnote)
1 kg bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
Salt and pepper
Heat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6 (fan 170°C)
Peel and cut the potatoes into slices roughly as thick as a pound coin. Generously smear a roasting tin with soft butter or olive oil and lay the potato slices in a single layer over the base. Season with salt and pepper.
Peel and finely slice the garlic and strip the leaves from the thyme or rosemary and scatter them over the potatoes. Cut one of the lemons or half the larger lemon into thin slices and lay the pieces over the top. Pour over a couple of tablespoons of chicken stock or water.
Cut any excess bits of skin off the chicken thighs and lay them skin side down over the potatoes and lemon. Squeeze the juice from the remaining lemon or half lemon over the chicken (about 2-3 tbsp I’d say), drizzle over a tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Bake in the oven for half an hour then turn the chicken pieces over, spoon the pan juices over them and season again. Turn the oven down to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5 or 160°C fan and continue to cook for about 25-30 minutes until the chicken is well browned and the potato cooked through. (Spoon off a couple of tablespoons of the cooking juices about 10 minutes before the chicken is ready if you feel the potatoes need crisping up).
You could fish out the lemon slices before you serve up but I quite like the taste of caramelised lemon.
This tastes good with broccoli, green beans or courgettes or with a green salad.
If you’re making up chicken stock it’s worth freezing any excess in an ice-cube tray so you’ve got small amounts of stock to hand when you need it.
It may take a little longer if you started with chicken straight from the fridge.