Chicken & Cherry Traybake

This is an all-time favourite: a simple, richly flavoured and hearty meal that can warm even the coldest of autumn nights. It also makes plenty, so you can have leftovers the next day (when it's actually at its best)...

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Serves
4
Total Time
55 Minutes
Ingredients
750g of chicken thighs, skin left on
6 garlic cloves, unpeeled & bashed
200g of shallots, sliced
200g of new potatoes, halved
2 bay leaves
1 red chilli, halved lengthways
2 sprigs of thyme
150g of fresh or frozen cherries, pitted & halved
2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp of honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
Zest & juice of 1 orange
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
Method
Step 1
Pre-heat the fan oven to 180°C (400°F/Gas 6). Season the chicken thighs all over with salt and pepper and arrange them in a roasting tin, skin side up. Add the cloves of garlic, shallots, new potatoes, bay leaves and chilli to the tray, then add the sprigs of thyme and cherries.
Step 2
In a small bowl, mix together the balsamic vinegar, honey, olive oil and orange zest and juice. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle over the chicken, vegetables and cherries.
Step 3
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes before removing and basting the chicken with the juices from the tin. Return to the oven and bake for a further 20 minutes until the chicken is evenly cooked (check that the juices run clear when the thighs are pricked with a knife) and the skin is crispy. If not, cook for a further 5-10 minutes, but you may want to cover the chicken with kitchen foil to prevent the skin from burning.
Step 4
Once cooked, transfer everything to a serving platter and drizzle over some of the juices to serve.

Orchard by James Rich (Hardie Grant, £22), Photography © Laura Edward

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