The one dish tray-bake – effortless, delicious, comforting

Normally Thursday is my blogging day but I’ve deviated from my normal schedule to bring you a recipe I was desperate to share.

This magnificent meal was the product of a Saturday night spent at home – I’ve confessed previously how much I enjoy a quiet weekend. Often it’s a great opportunity to pick up a takeaway and a big tub of ice cream, relax and watch a good movie. But I decided to cook.

My husband, at first unsure if he wanted to miss out on a calorie-laden takeaway, changed his mind when the smell of oven-baked chicken, garlic and thyme began to permeate our apartment.

I know there are times recipes claim to be easy and take minutes to throw together and an hour later you’re wondering why you believed it. But this recipe really does do what it claims – comes together in minutes. I’d say 10 minutes, 15 at the outside. Once it’s in the oven you can ignore it for an hour and a half and simply wait for the reward that greets you at the end of cooking time.

Effortless, delicious, comforting – what more could you ask for in a dish?


Tray-baked chicken with cherry tomatoes and thyme

Serves 4


4 chicken legs, skin on, bone in

Salt and pepper

Olive oil

600g new potatoes

6 cloves garlic

24 cherry tomatoes

Handful of thyme sprigs

2 tablespoons capers


Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Place the chicken legs in a large oven dish or roasting tin. Give them a good seasoning and then drizzle with olive oil, rubbing it over the skin of the legs.

Give the potatoes a quick wash and then halve them (the slightly larger ones you might want to cut into threes). Place them around the chicken legs.

Peel the garlic cloves but leave them whole. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half. And it’s fine if you’ve only got red cherry tomatoes. I just happened to pass the beautiful yellow ones at my local market and couldn’t resist. Place the garlic cloves in and around the chicken and potatoes and then scatter over the tomatoes.

Give the entire dish a good seasoning and then drizzle over plenty of olive oil. Get your hands in and make sure everything is glossy with it (although go easy – you don’t want the chicken and potatoes to be swimming in olive oil).

Finally scatter over the thyme sprigs and then transfer the dish to the oven.


Bake for an hour and a half (and the aromas that fill your kitchen are incredible) by which time the chicken will be crisp but tender on the inside.

Remove the chicken legs and potatoes from the dish onto a serving plate. With a fork squash the garlic cloves and mix through the juices that have been left behind by the tomatoes, the chicken and the olive oil. You want to give it a good, vigorous stir. Finally, stir through the capers. You now have a divine sauce that can be spooned over the chicken and potatoes.

I like to serve this simply with a crisp salad of Cos leaves, finely sliced shallots and radishes.

As you cut into your chicken, the meat will fall away from the bone. Delicious.

And as if this dish doesn’t have enough going for it – the only washing up you have is the oven dish, a chopping board and a few plates and cutlery. What’s not to like about this recipe?





1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Chicken, avocado & watercress wrap – a cold chicken hero | Tracey O'Brien

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