I have my lovely friend Tony to thank for this. He was on his way to cook for a crowd a few weeks ago, and came clutching a copy of this recipe from the excellent Three Good Things by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, a book that is full of very short, and so far, very good, recipes (the publisher’s website suggests it is out of print, so if you can find a copy buy it!). When I was cooking for eight a few weeks later, I copied his idea, tweaking the recipe slightly to make it even shorter and more effortless (no jointing chickens in 30°C for me…).
Reader, it’s brilliant. It only has six ingredients, takes about an hour and, if you sear the chicken, as I do, in the roasting tin, or in any ovenproof pan that can hold all the chicken, it is also one-pot. Serve it with something to soak up all the lovely juices, like rice or new potatoes. Oh, and it’s really easy to double so make extra, so you can have it all over again for lunch the next day. Thanks Tony.
Chicken with tarragon and tomatoes (adapted from Three Good Things)
Makes enough for 4 and easily halved or doubled
Cupboard (or things you may already have)
flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on, 4
cherry tomatoes, 500g
white wine, a 125ml glass (I’ve also used fino, to great effect)
juice of half a lemon
handful of fresh tarragon leaves
1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan-assisted/gas 5.
2. Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a roasting tin or ovenproof pan, big enough to hold all of the chicken, then sear the chicken pieces all over until golden. Add a little more oil/adjust the temperature every so often, if necessary, to make sure the meat colours but doesn’t stick. You may need to do this in batches.
3. When all of the chicken is done, remove it to a plate, tip the white wine into the pan, still over the heat, and stir to deglaze all the sticky residue at the bottom. Return the chicken to the pan, squeeze over the lemon juice, season then cover the pan with foil (or a lid if it has one) and put in the oven for 30 minutes.
4. Halve the tomatoes whilst the chicken cooks then, once the 30 minutes are up, add them to the pan and bake, uncovered this time, for about 20 minutes more, until the tomatoes are soft and blistered.
5. Check the chicken is cooked through (leave it for a few minutes longer if needed), then remove the pan from the oven, stir in the tarragon and leave to rest for about five minutes before serving.