Here’s a great family recipe from Candice Brown and her new cookbook, Happy Cooking
One of those wonderful one-tray, bang-it-in meals. You get so much lovely flavour from chicken thighs and they don’t dry out like their breasty mates. Skip the potatoes and serve with rice or couscous instead or shred it all up and whack in a flour tortilla for a little fajita vibe. Lazy cooking at its best for when you really can’t be bothered. (You can even skip making your own seasoning bit if you want – just get a ready-made one and sprinkle to your heart’s content.)
Extracted from Happy Cooking by Candice Brown (Ebury Press, £22) Photography by Ellis Parrinder
8 chicken thighs (either skinless and deboned or with bones in and skin on)
1 yellow pepper, deseeded and sliced
1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced
1 red onion, chopped
2 red chillies, finely chopped
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
6 garlic cloves, peeled
3 sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into wedges
150g of chorizo, skin removed and cut into 3mm slices
Drizzle of honey
150g of green or black olives, pitted
200g of cashew nuts
Soured cream, to serve
2tbsp of smoked paprika
½ tbsp of cayenne pepper
½ tsp of salt
1 tsp of chilli flakes
1 tbsp of garlic salt
1 tbsp of freshly ground black pepper
½ tbsp of onion powder
½ tbsp of dried oregano
½ tbsp of dried thyme
½ tbsp of cumin seeds
Preheat the oven to 160°C fan (180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4).
Add all the Cajun spice mix ingredients to a clean, dry jar, put on the lid and give it a really good shake. You will have more seasoning than you need for this recipe, but it will keep for about 6 months.
Drizzle some olive oil over a large baking tray and swirl it around to coat the tray.
Put the peppers, onion, chillies, tomatoes, garlic, sweet potatoes and chorizo into a large bowl. Drizzle over a little oil and give it a good rub and mix. Sprinkle over ½ tbsp of the Cajun spice mix and give it another good mix. Tip the spiced veg on to the prepared tray and spread out evenly across the tray.
Add the chicken to the bowl and rub in another 1 tablespoon of Cajun spice mix, really massaging it into the chicken. Place the chicken on top of the prepared veg and cook for 15 minutes.
Remove the tray from the oven and, using a fish slice or spatula, give everything a good mix. Return to the oven for a further 15 minutes.
Remove the tray from the oven, drizzle over the honey, sprinkle over the olives and cashews and mix lightly. Check the chicken and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes.
Cooking the chicken skin-side up will give crispy skin if you’re using chicken with the skin on. Check the chicken is cooked, especially if you are using thighs with the bones in, there should be no pink flesh visible.
Serve the tray bake as it is with a bit of everything; or serve with soured cream on top if you need it.