Why chicken thighs again? For one thing, it makes a succulent, tasty and economical meal. Also, Fiona split her jam making over two days, which is a great idea because it is then less of a major task. The house is filled with the aroma from the two jam saucepans. One has wild plum and the other is greengage. I am the unofficial taster and quality assurance agent, apparently. So I am giving her a night off from writing.
We had this variation on Shereen’s excellent original already this week. I found a large gammon at the CFC on Thursday and earmarked it for Sunday roast, “Be sure to look up cooking times because it might take several hours,” advised my darling yesterday. So at five o’clock this afternoon I thought I had better follow her advice.
Learning that it needed to soak for eight hours before cooking, I had a mad scramble in the chest freezer and found four chicken thighs that I unfroze in a stockpot of hot water, a tip that I got from my mum all those years ago. Disaster averted.
I have started to use a new (to me) ingredient that has been sitting in our larder for a year. Fiona picked it up on a day trip to France. Arome Saveur made by Maggi (Google this: +maggi "arome saveur"). She says that she remembers it from the 1950s. You don’t have to use it in this dish but I think it makes for a great pour-over sauce.
We love baked garlic. In fact, it is one of our favourite starters. There were some smaller bulbs in her garlic harvest this year, so I grabbed two from the pile that is drying on a fence in the kitchen garden. They had sort of semi-fallen apart and so I covered them in the roasting dish with the slices of pepper so that the garlic would not burn.
You can use almost any vegetable in this dish. Small potatoes or larger ones chopped would make for a single pot meal. I did not have time. In winter, I would use carrots and parsnips along with onions and peppers.
|Roast chicken thighs with summer vegetables recipe|
- 4 x chicken thighs, approx 500 g (1 pound) in total
- Leaves stripped from 12 x sprigs of fresh thyme or a tsp of dried thyme
- 2 x red onions (white ones are OK but red are better) or 6 to 10 shallots
- 2 x small bulbs of garlic (optional)
- 2 x cloves of garlic (optional)
- 2 x large tomatoes
- 8 x chantenay carrots if you have them
- 1 x bell pepper (we like half of a red or orange, plus half a green)
- 1 courgette if you have one to hand
- For the gravy:
- 2 tablespoons Arome saveur (optional)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon mushroom sauce
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon of rock salt or sea salt (optional - at your own risk!)
- Preheat oven to 190c/375f (175c/350f fan)
- Pour the gravy mix into a roasting tin (the smaller the better, we use a circular ovenproof dish)
- Peel the onions and quarter them
- Chop the courgette into chunks about 1 inch / 3cm long
- Halve the pepper and quarter each half (8 pieces)
- Trim the garlic bulbs (top and tail, leave the outside skin intact)
- Peel and finely chop the garlic cloves
- On the underside of each thing, sprinkle a quarter of the thyme and the chopped garlic.
- Fold the skin flap over. Roll the upper side in the gravy mix. Place them underside down in the roasting tray.
- Place the garlic bulbs, tomatoes and carrots in the roasting tray.
- Roll each piece of onion, courgette and pepper in the gravy mix before placing them in around the chicken, not covering it.
- Roast for 50 minutes or until the juices from the thighs run clear.
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