I found this idea whilst browsing food magazines in a supermarket queue and it has become an eternal favourite, mainly because it is cooking by numbers and so easy. If you have all the ingredients, great but, if not, you can endlessly adapt it to suit your taste and the contents of your fridge. In terms of the vegetables for example, anything that will be happy spending half an hour in the oven with the chicken works so any of the following are a good place to start: courgettes, onions, red and yellow peppers or aubergines. But if you don’t have one thing it doesn’t matter: in the pictures below you can see that on this occasion I used only courgettes, red peppers and garlic.
You have to use chicken legs (not nasty, tasteless breast meat) because this is a bit like a mini-roast and you need the fat, bone and skin to create lots of yummy sticky juices in the vegetables. The whole thing will take 45 minutes from beginning to end, it cooks in the oven so, apart from getting everything chopped and putting it in the oven dish at the right time, it leaves you free to do something else whilst it’s cooking and, unless you cook something else to go with it, you only need one dish. My ideal evening meal.
Chicken legs with feta and roasted vegetables
The timings and quantities are pretty approximate but it doesn’t matter if you have a bit more of one thing and a bit less of something else, and if it cooks a little too long it won’t hurt. Best to leave the feta, olives, capers and basil till the end though.
You will need:
Cupboard (or things you may already have)
Olive oil (non-posh is fine for this)
Sea salt and black pepper
A couple of cloves of garlic (for two chicken legs; add more if you want)
A couple of white or red onions, peeled, topped and tailed and quartered (again, for two legs)
Chicken legs (one per person)
Roastable summer vegetables: allow about half a red or yellow pepper, half a courgette and a quarter of an aubergine per person
A handful of cherry tomatoes per person (about 75g)
1 tablespoon black olives per two chicken legs
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed, per two chicken legs
A handful of fresh basil leaves
50g feta per person
1. Heat the oven to about 180C, 160 fan.
2. Start with the chicken legs. Rub them with olive oil, salt and pepper, put them in a roasting dish with the whole garlic cloves and shove them in the oven.
3. Quarter the onions if you haven’t already, chop all the roasting veg up into cubes/dice and put in a bowl. Pour in a few glugs of olive oil and salt and pepper, and give the veg a good stir so that they’re all covered.
4. Once the chicken has been cooking for about 10 minutes, add the veg to the dish, stir everything round and return to the oven.
5. Once the chicken has been cooking for a total of about 25 minutes, check on the veg and the chicken. The chicken should be nice and crispy and the veg should be softening. Give the veg bits a stir so that they brown on all sides and leave again.
6. Once the chicken has been cooking for a total of about 35-40 minutes, throw in everything else (olives, capers, tomatoes, feta and basil) and stir into the veg.
7. After about ten minutes, check on the dish. If the chicken is done and the cheese softening it’s ready. Truly delicious.