One-pan Spanish Chicken Bake


I am always on the lookout for recipes that don't take too long to make on busy Saturdays when the weekly house clean and grocery shop take place. I imagine that pasta would be the fallback for many in these sorts of circumstances, but just between you and me, I've never really got into the pasta groove. Guess I prefer a higher veggie : carb ratio than you get with pasta.

With no time till hitting the shops, I suddenly remembered this recipe in the September 2009 edition of Sainsbury's Magazine that I picked up when the Young Man and I were in Scotland last year. Only requiring you to fling a few things in a roasting tin and maybe basting them from time to time, it's a real corker for those times when you don't have time but want to eat well.

Not living in the UK where Spanish influences abound, I chorizo and smoked paprika were not to be had (I asked the spice people at Ohtsuya in Ueno about smoked paprika. They hadn't heard of it, but looked intrigued. Maybe they will look into it for me...). I used black pepper sausages and regular paprika instead. You could add a dash of cayenne to the paprika, as well, if you want.

I only had chickpeas in the freezer, so that's what we had. The original recipe called for jarred butter beans. A classier rendition of tinned beans, perhaps? I always think homemade is best, though, which is why I soak and pressure cook beans and store them in the freezer in approximately can-sized portions.

The picture of this dish in the magazine shows what looks to me like bone-in chicken thigh halves. My supermarket here in Yokohama has boned whole thighs only, so I used 3 large ones folded in half. I turned them over partway through cooking so that the skin on both sides crisped up golden and lovely (aided and abetted by the paprika oil, no doubt).

I also basted the chicken and veggies a few times, mainly because I am not used to standing around doing nothing while the dinner cooks itself. It's just not cooking! (g) I skipped the sage as the Young Man is a bit of a non-fan.

And the taste? Superb! I loved the citrusy notes, the creamy garlic and, surprisingly, the baked sausages.

Sainsbury's Everyday Easy one-pan Spanish chicken bake

Serves 4

400 g cooked butter beans or cannellini beans
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled, halved lengthwise and cut into large chunks
3 red peppers, deseeded and cut into large chunks
250 g chorizo or other sausages, cut into bite-size pieces
1 bulb garlic, loose papery skin removed but left whole
200 ml chicken stock
2 large oranges, one juiced and the other cut into wedges
2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
8 chicken pieces
1 tbsp olive oil, plus a little more
a handful of fresh sage leaves
sea salt

1 Preheat the oven to 22 degrees C. Arrange the beans, sweet potatoes, peppers, sausage and garlic in a large roasting tin about 30 x 42 cm.

2 Mix the stock, orange juice and 1 tsp of the smoked paprika Pour into the tin and toss with the vegetables.

3 Put the chicken pieces on top of the vegetables to ensure they crisp up while cooking. Sprinkle with a little sea salt and a good grinding of black pepper.

4 Roast for about 40 min. Mix the oil with the rest of the smoked paprika.

5 After 40 min, brush the chicken with the smoked paprika oil and add the orange wedges to the tin. Dip the sage leaves in a little oil and scatter over. Roast for a further 10-15 min, or until the chicken and vegetables are cooked through. Leave to rest for 10 min. Don't forget to give everyone some of the lovely creamy roast garlic!

Enjoy!