Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Guest Dish: Tray-Baked Chicken and Crushed Pots

This weekend we visited a friend of ours from our college days in Cambridge, and his lovely girlfriend. On the Friday night, I was totally zonked from driving for four hours during one of the busiest times of year, so couldn't help make any dinner. But it was no problem; he prepared this meal single-handedly in about half an hour, and it was absolutely delicious. I think it's a Jamie Oliver recipe; the SO guessed immediately because of the presence of cherry tomatoes. I've reconstructed the recipe from the dish itself, and portioned it for two.


  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 4-6 slices of streaky bacon
  • a handful of cherry tomatoes on the vine
  • fresh tarragon, thyme and rosemary
  • a few cloves of garlic
  • 4-6 medium waxy potatoes
  • 2-3 spring onions
  • a big bag or bunch of fresh spinach
  • a few tbsp crème fraîche

Preheat your grill to a high setting. Wrap the bacon around the chicken and in a non-stick pan, sear it quickly to seal the flesh. Place in a wide casserole dish or baking tray, add the cherry tomatoes on the vine, the fresh tarragon and thyme, crush in the garlic, and toss with a little olive oil. Grill for 10 minutes each side, until the bacon is crisp and the chicken is cooked through.

Meanwhile, parboil the whole potatoes for about 5 minutes, until just beginning to show tenderness. Sautee them whole with the rosemary, in olive oil over a moderate heat, and crush them downward with a potato-masher to break them into flattened ovoids. Turn once or twice so that you get plenty of good crispy bits.

Roughly chop the spring onions and sautee in a little olive oil. Rinse the spinach, add to the spring onions, cover and cook it briefly in its own juices. Remove, squeeze out the water, return to the pan, stir through the crème fraîche and heat through. Dash over a grating of nutmeg and season to taste.

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