If you've been following me for a while, you'll know how keen I am on one pot cooking. Dish washing is not on my list of top ten things to fuel the soul, so I rarely max out on utensil usage.
This one tray recipe contains many of the ingredients I turn to regularly. Fennel, for example, is one of my favourite veggies. Not least because it's so versatile - raw, roasted, baked, sautéed, stir-fried or as soup, it's right up there!
Leeks make a welcome change from onions, which can be particularly hard on the digestive system. In fact if you have issues with FODMAPS, you'll be fine with this recipe if you choose the green part and remove the garlic.
Olives are a great source of healthy fat. I mean seriously great - remember that olive oil is King of cooking fats and you'll get the picture.
Garlic cloves, roasted in their skins, equals less work (obviously) but also result in an addictive creamy texture and sweetness when squeezed from their skins. Transformative.
Herbs, treated as vegetables and thrown into the tray, both before and after cooking, offer a wealth of micronutrients. I do love a combination of dried and fresh for this recipe to really amplify the flavours.
Along with crispy herb coated chicken thighs, you need this recipe. It's one you'll turn to time and again - and your family and friends will be clamouring to join in too!
Chicken and Fennel Tray Bake
Prep time: 15 minutes + marinating
Cook time: 45 minutes
Print the recipe here!
1 tablespoon dried herbs de Provence
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon fine pink himalayan salt
zest of a lemon
4 tablespoons avocado oil
6 chicken thighs, skin on, bone in
1 leek, thickly sliced
1 medium fennel bulb, halved and thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 lemon, sliced
2 sprigs fresh oregano
1-2 tablespoons avocado oil
generous pinch flaky sea salt
1/2 cup mixed olives
Preheat the oven to 425F.
Mix the dried herbs, fine pink salt and lemon zest together with the avocado oil. Put the chicken thighs into a large shallow dish and spoon over the rub. Coat both sides and leave in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes, but up to 24 hours.
Line a large roasting or sheet pan with parchment paper and place the leek and fennel inside, together with the chicken and garlic cloves. Lay over the lemon slices, sprigs of oregano and fennel fronds. Pour enough avocado oil to lightly coat the veggies and sprinkle over the sea salt.
Bake for 30 minutes, then remove from the oven and baste the chicken with the juices. Add the olives and return the tray to the oven for a further 15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
Serve with a green salad.