Nigella’s Italian Tray Bake, slightly amended
As anyone who reads this knows, I have a little foodie-fan crush on Chef Rob Feenie – and I have to admit to having one on Nigella Lawson, also. I love their style. Both chefs’ books show a casual, relaxed approach to preparing delicious food. Rank beginners can obtain fabulous results with their recipes!
I recently purchased Nigella’s latest book, “Nigellisima”, which is full of amazing Italian recipes to which she has given her inimitable twist. I found this recipe, and perhaps it is her influence on me, but I had to give it a little twist also. Certainly not one to alter the final result significantly, but in my opinion I think my small additions of lemon juice and garlic to the original elevated it to even greater heights, as did tossing the lot in the oil and herbs, rather than sprinkling and drizzling each over the top.
This dish is easier than falling off a log, and takes very little time to prepare. It would be equally at home at a dinner party as at a family dinner, despite its rather humble ingredients. I would suggest pairing it with a simple salad, or simply cooked veg, as the flavours in the tray bake are pretty much all you need 🙂
3 large potatoes (I used equivalent amount in new red potatoes, Nigella calls for Yukon Gold), unpeeled, cut into 1″ chunks
8 chicken thighs (bone in, skin on)
8 Italian sausages (or *quality* sausage of your choice – no greasy”breakfast” sausages! I used turkey-feta-spinach sausages)
6-7 sprigs rosemary
zest and juice of one lemon (washed)
6-8 large cloves garlic, peeled and cut into chunks
1 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/2 teaspoon table salt)
lots of ground pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place prepared potatoes, garlic, chicken and sausages in large mixing bowl.
Strip all but two or three of the sprigs of rosemary and mince the leaves finely, to get about two teaspoons’ worth of chopped rosemary. Combine rosemary leaves with the lemon zest and juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, and pour over potato/meat mixture in bowl. Toss gently to coat everything with the dressing.
Spoon this mixture (in a single layer) onto a large, shallow roasting pan (you don’t want it too deep, or it won’t brown nicely). Once you have the chicken (skin up) and sausages evenly nestled in the pan with the potatoes and garlic, tuck the two remaining sprigs of rosemary in. Using the spoon to get the last of the lemony olive oil dressing out of the mixing bowl, drizzle the chicken and sausages with the last drops. Bake for 50 minutes or so, until the chicken and sausages are golden and the potatoes are cooked through 🙂