This lemon chicken tray bake with thyme is delicious, requires minimal effort and works perfectly as a weeknight dinner.
The oven does most of the work for you, as you prep the ingredients and add them to the tray at two different points. Meaning you can chill out and watch Netflix, as your delicious meal comes together.
I find with a chicken and potato tray bake, you need vibrant veggies, herbs and some acidity to bring the recipe to life.
That’s why with the addition of roasted lemon, thyme and the mediterranean combo of tomato and red onion, we get the best outcome.
Oven baked chicken thighs are amazing for two reasons. The crispy skin that forms when roasted over a longer period of time and the succulent meat that becomes intensely flavoured due to it’s fat content and being on the bone.
It wouldn’t be a lemon chicken tray bake without a good quantity of lemons. I use two whole lemons in this recipe, sliced into 1 cm rounds. When these lemon rounds are roasted, overtime they almost caramelize and sweeten, meaning you can even eat the skin!
I’ve chosen thyme for this recipe, as I love it when it’s paired with lemon. You could alternatively use parsley or basil, served fresh at the end if you prefer.
I use new potatoes to reduce prep time and also as I love their texture and skin-to-potato ratio. We coat them in oil and garlic and roast them for 1 hour and 15 minutes, which make for the crispiest potatoes.
6 cloves of garlic – don’t be skeptical, this tray bake recipe needs it. It serves 5 people and I follow the general rule of thumb for 1 clove per portion. Plus a bonus clove.
The tomato and red onion add a mediterranean chicken tray bake vibe, which brightens the dish massively.
I’d say so! This recipe is balanced in many ways.
Elements of a healthy tray bake:
If you wanted to reduce the calories, you could make this a chicken breast tray bake as this would reduce the fat content. However, chicken breast often dries out in the oven.
If you do decide to use chicken breast though, add the chicken at a later stage (maybe along with the tomatoes and onion) as they only take around 30 minutes to make in the oven.
Preheat the oven to 180° C
Wash the new potatoes and add to a large mixing bowl. Add the minced garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper and mix together, before placing on baking tray.
Now remove the excess skin on the chicken thighs and add to the same bowl. Add some olive oil, salt and mix together.
Now add the chicken thighs to the baking tray with the potatoes. Cook the potatoes and thighs for 30 minutes before removing from the oven.
Prep the veggies by quartering the red onions and tomatoes and slice the lemons into rounds. Add them to the baking tray with part cooked potatoes and chicken. Rub the thyme between your hands over the tray so the herb breaks off the stem and scatters over the tray bake. Shake and pop back in the oven for another 45 minutes.
Remove from the oven and plate up! Season with salt and pepper and an extra squeeze of lemon.