Easy tray baked chicken

This chicken dish is colourful, tasty and easy to prepare. It is suitable for both special occasion and everyday meals because it can also be left in the oven, on a reduced heat, for a little longer than the stated cooking time if your schedule overruns. This leaves you free to chat while dinner looks after itself in the oven. Chicken is low in fat and when mixed with an assortment of vegetables is very nutritious. This dish could be served with roasted potato wedges or polenta chips.

Serves 4

1 onion cut into wedges

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

16 cherry tomatoes

1 red pepper, seeds removed

8 skinless, boneless free-range chicken thighs

4 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves removed

1 teaspoon paprika

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsps balsamic vinegar

1 bulb fennel, trimmed and cut in quarters lengthways

225g/8 oz green beans

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

small bunch of basil

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. Place the onions, garlic and tomatoes in a large roasting tray roughly 25cm x 30cm or (10 in x 12 in). Cut the pepper into thin strips and add to the roasting tray together with the rosemary.

Sprinkle the paprika, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a good pinch of salt and pepper over the vegetables. Toss all the ingredients together and then spread the chicken thighs across the roasting tray.

Place the chicken and vegetables in the oven for an hour.

About half way through the cooking time, steam the fennel and green beans for 5 minutes, or until both are tender, and drain.

Add the steamed fennel to the chicken and baste with the cooking juices. Make sure all the ingredients are mixed well together and return to the oven to continue cooking.

Five minutes before you are due to serve the chicken add the steamed green beans and baste them with a little of the cooking juices. Return the roasting tray to the oven for the beans to warm through and for the chicken to finish cooking. Serve the tray bake chicken with some torn basil leaves.