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Chicken winners: Claire Thomson’s one-pan wonders are vibrant, flavourful and super simple


Chimichurri chicken with roast squash

Chimichurri is a pungent green Argentinian sauce made using fresh herbs, vinegar and garlic. I’ve used half the chimichurri to marinate the chicken and the remainder as the accompanying sauce. This way you get a double whammy of flavour.

Chimichurri is a pungent green Argentinian sauce made using fresh herbs, vinegar and garlic. I’ve used half the chimichurri to marinate the chicken and the remainder as the accompanying sauce

Chimichurri is a pungent green Argentinian sauce made using fresh herbs, vinegar and garlic. I’ve used half the chimichurri to marinate the chicken and the remainder as the accompanying sauce

Serves 4

  • 1kg whole chicken thighs, legs
  • or drumsticks
  • 800g squash, peeled,
  • deseeded and very thinly sliced
  • 2 red onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp thyme leaves
  • salt and freshly ground
  • black pepper

For the chimichurri (or use about 120g store-bought)

  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp white wine or cider vinegar, plus more if needed
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 small bunch of flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 70ml olive oil, plus more if needed

Blend together all of the ingredients for the chimichurri until smooth, adding salt, plus more vinegar to taste and more oil to loosen, if required.

Mix half the chimichurri into the chicken, cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour, although the longer the better. Remove the chicken from the fridge about 20 minutes before you plan to cook it. Alternatively, forgo the marinating time and continue with the method below.

Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. In a large baking tray, combine the squash and onions with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and all the thyme leaves, then season with salt and pepper. Place the chicken on top, drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and again season with salt and pepper.

Roast for 35-40 minutes, or until the chicken is completely cooked and tender. Add more seasoning if needed, then drizzle with the remaining chimichurri to serve.  

Whole Roast Cinnamon Chicken with Rice

This is a favourite for my family. The whole chicken cooks over the rice, with the spices scenting both to create the most deliciously sticky chicken pilaf.

This is a favourite for my family. The whole chicken cooks over the rice, with the spices scenting both to create the most deliciously sticky chicken pilaf

This is a favourite for my family. The whole chicken cooks over the rice, with the spices scenting both to create the most deliciously sticky chicken pilaf

Serves 4

  • 250g basmati rice
  • 1 whole chicken
  • (about 1.5kg)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt, plus more
  • to season
  • 3 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 500ml hot chicken stock
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • (about 10cm)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • lemon wedges, to serve

Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7.

Rinse the rice in plenty of running cold water, then drain well and set aside.

Rub the chicken all over with the oil, salt and half the ground cinnamon. Put the bay leaves and a big pinch of salt into the chicken cavity.

Put the onions in a deep roasting tin and add 1cm depth of water. Place the chicken on top, breast-side up. Roast for 30 minutes, until coloured.

Remove the pan from the oven and place the par-cooked chicken on a large plate.

Add the well-drained rice to the onion mixture along with the remaining ground spices and stir well to coat, then pour over the hot stock and season with salt. Put the whole cinnamon stick inside the chicken.

Place the par-cooked chicken back in the middle of the tin, on top of the rice, cover tightly with foil and return to the oven to cook for 30-40 minutes, until the chicken and rice are cooked and the liquid is absorbed.

Remove from the heat and allow the dish to rest, covered, for 15 minutes.

Give the rice and chicken a final seasoning with salt and a generous grinding of fresh black pepper, then serve with wedges of lemon to squeeze over at the table.

Chicken soup with lime leaf, lemongrass and coconut 

I have eaten similar soups to this in Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. Each time, with each bowlful, I swear it is the best chicken soup I’ll eat.

I have eaten similar soups to this in Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. Each time, with each bowlful, I swear it is the best chicken soup I’ll eat

I have eaten similar soups to this in Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. Each time, with each bowlful, I swear it is the best chicken soup I’ll eat

Serves 4

  • 1.5 litres chicken stock
  • 4 lime leaves, thinly sliced
  • 3 lemongrass stalks, trimmed and cut into thirds
  • 3-6 red or green bird’s-eye chillies, half sliced thinly and half left whole, to taste
  • 4 slices fresh galangal (or ginger)
  • ½ small bunch coriander, leaves chopped and stalks separated
  • 150g cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 200ml full-fat coconut milk
  • 400g boneless, skinless chicken (thigh is best), diced
  • 150g small button mushrooms
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce, plus more to taste

Heat the chicken stock in a large pot over a high heat.

Meanwhile bruise the lime leaves, lemongrass, whole chillies, galangal (or ginger) and coriander stalks in a mortar and pestle (or use a bowl and the end of a rolling pin), then add them along with the tomatoes to the hot stock and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the coconut milk, chicken and mushrooms, bring the liquid back to a boil, then reduce the heat to moderate and cook for 5-8 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.

Remove from the heat and add the sliced chillies, lime juice, fish sauce and chopped coriander leaves, adjusting with more of each, to your taste. Serve straight away, ladled into bowls.

Chicken Adobo 

This classic Filipino dish is another family favourite. The relatively short list of ingredients belies the intensity of the finished adobo.

This classic Filipino dish is another family favourite. The relatively short list of ingredients belies the intensity of the finished adobo

This classic Filipino dish is another family favourite. The relatively short list of ingredients belies the intensity of the finished adobo

Serves 4

  • 80ml dark soy sauce
  • 80ml rice wine vinegar, or coconut vinegar
  • 8 garlic cloves: 4 finely chopped, 4 left whole and unpeeled
  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 4 bay leaves, scrunched a little
  • 2 tsp light brown soft sugar
  • 1kg whole chicken thighs, legs or drumsticks
  • 2 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil
  • 1 bunch of spring onions, greens and whites separated and thinly sliced
  • freshly ground black pepper

Combine the soy sauce, vinegar, finely chopped garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves and brown sugar to make a marinade.

Mix the marinade into the chicken, cover and marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour, although the longer the better. Remove the chicken from the fridge about 20 minutes before you plan to cook it. Alternatively, forgo the marinating time and continue with the method below.

Separate the chicken from its marinade, reserving any excess marinade in the bowl.

Heat the oil in a casserole pan on a moderate heat. Add the chicken and fry it on both sides for about 10 minutes, until browned, then set aside on a plate, reserving the oil in the pan.

Add the spring onion whites and whole garlic to the pan and fry for 5 minutes, until softened.

Pour in the reserved marinade and 250ml of water and bring to a boil for 1 minute, then return the chicken to the pan and turn down the heat to low. Cook, uncovered, over a low heat for 8-10 minutes on one side, then turn the chicken over and gently cook for another 10-12 minutes, until cooked through, adding a splash of hot water if it dries out too much.

Remove the chicken from the heat and top with the spring onion greens and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.

Chicken with orzo, artichokes, oregano and feta

I am looking to Greece for the flavours in this recipe. Serve with some lemon wedges on the side to squeeze all over.

I am looking to Greece for the flavours in this recipe. Serve with some lemon wedges on the side to squeeze all over

I am looking to Greece for the flavours in this recipe. Serve with some lemon wedges on the side to squeeze all over

Serves 4

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and finely diced
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds, roughly crushed
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp sweet or hot unsmoked paprika
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 250g passata
  • 700g boneless, skinless chicken (thigh is best), diced
  • 300g orzo pasta
  • 250ml hot chicken stock or boiling water
  • 200g feta, crumbled
  • about 150g artichokes in oil, drained and roughly diced
  • ½ small bunch of dill, roughly chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon, quartered, to serve

Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed casserole pan over a moderate heat. Add the pepper and onion and cook for 8-10 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.

Add the coriander seeds, dried oregano, paprika and salt and stir for 1 minute, mixing briskly. Add the passata and cook for 2 minutes, then add the chicken and stir well to coat. Continue to cook over a moderate heat for about 5 more minutes.

Add the orzo to the pan along with the hot stock or boiling water and bring the pan to a quick simmer. Cover with a lid, reduce the heat to moderate-low and cook for about 30 minutes, until the orzo is tender and the chicken is cooked through. From time to time, give the pan a good stir as the orzo will try its best to stick to the bottom. Add a splash more water if necessary.

Remove from the heat and check the seasoning of the sauce, adding plenty of freshly ground black pepper and a pinch more salt, if necessary, then strew all over with the crumbled feta, diced artichokes and chopped dill. Serve with the lemon quarters on the side.

Chicken dauphinoise with dijon and cream

Looks fancy, this recipe, although it is very easy to make. Ideally, use a mandoline to slice the potatoes – this means that they will all cook evenly and perfectly.

Looks fancy, this recipe, although it is very easy to make. Ideally, use a mandoline to slice the potatoes – this means that they will all cook evenly and perfectly

Looks fancy, this recipe, although it is very easy to make. Ideally, use a mandoline to slice the potatoes – this means that they will all cook evenly and perfectly

Serves 4

  • 250ml double cream
  • 150ml whole milk
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 bay leaves, scrunched a little
  • a good grating of fresh nutmeg (or a pinch of ground)
  • 50g parmesan, finely grated
  • 800g small waxy potatoes, very thinly sliced (skin on)
  • 1kg whole chicken thighs, legs or drumsticks
  • butter, for dotting, if necessary
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Mix the cream and milk along with the garlic, thyme, mustard, bay, nutmeg and plenty of black pepper in a large bowl, then add salt to taste. Stir through half the parmesan, then add the potatoes and chicken and stir to coat everything in the cream. Remove the chicken to a plate.

Arrange the creamy potatoes in a roasting tin or baking dish, fanning them out, then nestle the chicken in, skin-side up.

Cover the roasting tin with a lid or foil and bake the chicken and potatoes for 30-40 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle the remaining parmesan over it all and bake for a further 30 minutes, until browned on top and cooked through. If you feel the potatoes and chicken skin need more colour, you can dot them with butter and pop under a hot grill for 5 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow the dish to rest for 5 minutes before serving

NOW BUY THE BOOK

Our recipes are from One Pan Chicken by Claire Thomson, with photographs by Sam Folan, to be published on 2 November by Quadrille, £20. To order a copy for £17 until 12 November, go to mailshop.co.uk/books or call 020 3176 2937*

*FREE UK DELIVERY ON ORDERS OVER £25 



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