Moroccan Chicken One Tray Bake

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I’m trying to eat less meat these days but when I do I try to only buy from butchers.  I particularly trust and love the quality at Provenance which is where I bought these chicken thighs.  Their chicken comes from a wonderful farm called Packington who are passionate about ethnical and sustainable farming.  I bought these thighs with the idea that I wanted to create something special and this is totally worth making if you have some mates round and want a delicious meal but with no fussing in the kitchen.  I would serve this with a citrus dressed crunchy salad with a handful of toasted pumpkin seeds.  I have gone to town on the spices here and the beauty of this dish is you can mix and match a little depending on what you have in your cupboard so do not worry if you are missing a few things.  You can double up on the spices you have to create depth of flavour.

GF/DF

Serves 4

Ingredients:

300g basmati rice, (rinsed thoroughly under cold water for a good minute)

2 medium aubergine, roughly chopped (about 600g)

2 tsp fennel seeds

3 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp ground ginger

3 tsp ground paprika

3 tsp za’atar

2 tsp sesame seeds

100g dried apricots, roughly chopped

1 red onion, thinly sliced (mandoline is best)

4-5 garlic, peeled and bashed once with the back of the knife

Zest and juice of a lemon

8 organic chicken thighs, bones left in

150ml white wine

500ml hot chicken stock

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Generously season with sea salt and black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and get a large baking tray (mine was 30cm by 40cm).   Don’t forget to rinse the rice in cold water for at least 1 minute to avoid it becoming too sticky later on.  Then add rice to the baking tray followed by the next 12 ingredients and season generously with salt and pepper.  Mix everything together and make sure the chicken thighs are skin-side up and are nice and snug touching the bottom of the tray.  Carefully pour over the white wine followed by the hot stock avoiding the thighs.  Season the chicken skins with more salt, pepper and drizzle olive oil over the top of everything.  Place into the middle of the hot oven for 40 minutes.  The chicken skins would have gone a beautiful golden colour and the rice will be cooked.

This dish also makes for some great next day leftovers!

Nina ParkerComment