Oven bakes are so convenient, especially for large groups, and due to the long oven-time they are usually bursting with flavour.
Koen and Erica invited us over last weekend and Koen selected 2 oven bakes: this Mediterranean chicken one and a vegetarian lasagna with courgette, aubergine and a ricotta/tomato sauce (which actually turned out to be based on this – otherwise incredibly meaty – recipe over at seriouseats.com, that I tried to recreate earlier). 😀Also these ones turned out to be delicious!
What worked and what didn’t:
Okay, it did take time to prep, but once in the oven we had plenty of time to on our hand to do other stuff (like mingle, polish off some wine and cheeses before they were all gone..)
The combined oven bakes were (obviously) way too much for us to finish, but forks were pulled to fight over the last pieces of roasted garlic as well as the roasted pancetta…
In the recipe below, I added boiling the potatoes for 10 minutes to kickstart the cooking process. Originally, we didn’t, but thought that the spuds could have been a bit softer.
I highly recommend placing the preserved lemon near the chicken drumsticks to infuse them with their – slightly salty – freshness.
- Pre-heat your oven to 160C / 320F
- Boil 1 kilo / 2 lbs of new baby potatoes in lightly salted water for approximately 10 minutes and then drain. Halve them if they are rather big
- In the meantime prep your veggies:
- 3 white and/or red onions (roughly sliced)
- 8 garlic cloves (peeled and halved)
- 1 fennel bulb (halved and roughly chopped)
- 1 courgette (halved and roughly sliced)
- 1 aubergine (halved and roughly sliced)
- 1 red bell pepper (quartered roughly sliced)
- 4 sprigs of rosemary (leaves only)
- In a big roasting tin mix together all veggies mix thoroughly with 4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil until everything is properly coated
- Place 10-12 chicken drumsticks among in the veggies and scatter the following items on top:
- 200g / 7oz pancetta slices (folded twice)
- 200g / 7oz pitted black olives
- 1 preserved lemon (halved, then quartered)
- Finish with a some sprinkling of sea salt and ground black pepper and put in the oven for 90 minutes. Check whether the chicken is properly cooked by putting a skewer in the thickest part of the drumstick. Remove the skewer and observe the juice that will drip out: it should be entirely clear and not show any sign of pink.