Yay! Decent 100% Irish free range chicken portions are now available in my local supermarket. Up until now the choice was either pricey skin-less chicken fillets or a whole chicken but finding this new “Farmers to Market’ chicken portions product made me smile today.
The packaging is very attractive as is the story on the box. “Bred and reared by a group of 12 Irish farmers with generations of experience of traditional chicken farming, our selected Free Range chickens are guaranteed to offer the highest quality and flavour.” You can see by the price on the box (3.99 euro) that it’s very reasonably priced for such a first-rate product and beautifully presented.
It’s the skin that gives chicken its flavour and protects the meat from drying out as it cooks. Chicken can be taken in any direction you fancy and today I fancied Mediterranean. I wanted to cook an easy to prepare dinner that required minimum tending and fuss. Last week a friend jokingly asked me if I’d brought a list of recipes with me so that her week of cooking would be planned and I was thinking of her as I dreamt up this dish. (Hi Maeve!). Looking back over my recent recipes a nice week of cooking could include:
- Mediterranean Chicken & Vegetables
- Lamb Tagine with Lemon & Coriander Couscous
- Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie
- Beef Curry with Butternut Squash
- Jambalaya Chicken
- Thai Scented Pork Steak with sweet potatoes and carrot & coriander puree
For today’s dish I am loose on the quantities and if you are catering for a bigger crew you may want to use a couple of roasting tins to give things room to cook.
Mediterranean Chicken & Vegetables
You will need:
Chicken portions – skin on
Large potatoes – scrubbed and skin on
Rapeseed oil or olive oil
2 sweet peppers
1 or 2 red onions
6 cloves garlic
1 tsp herbes de provence
Heat the fan oven to 180C / Gas Mark 6.
Place the chicken pieces into a large roasting tin.
Slice the potatoes into half-inch rounds and place in the tin in and around the chicken. (You may wish to cook extra on a separate tray.)
Drizzle oil over the chicken and potatoes and season generously with ground sea salt and ground black pepper.
Place the tin in the oven and leave to cook for 20 minutes.
Peel and cut the red onion in half and cut each half into four pieces.
Rinse, slice and de-seed the red peppers.
Do not prepare the aubergine until the chicken has been cooking for 20 minutes otherwise it will discolour. Rinse and slice the aubergine into rounds and cut each round into four pieces.
Remove the roasting tin from the oven and push the peppers, red onion and aubergine chunks in and around the chicken.
You can leave the skin on the garlic and lightly squash it with the side of a knife and then poke these in around the chicken as well.
Drizzle some more oil on the vegetables (you may want to partially hold your thumb over the top of the bottle to stem the flow) and then sprinkle over the herbes de provence.
Raise the heat of the oven to 200C/ Gas Mark 7 and cook for a further 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
Serve with a drizzle of home-made ketchup over the top:
Quick home-made ketchup.
Mix tomato puree with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and garlic salt. Adjust quantities to your taste.
Til next time,