This is a great alternative to a Sunday roast or an easy bung-it-in-the-oven mid-week meal. There’s very little preparation involved apart from chopping the vegetables and it’s flexible so you can use anything left in the veggie drawer that needs using up.
Ordinarily I’d use butternut squash. This is one of my favourite vegetables and it’s the perfect time of year to find them in the shops. I never bother peeling butternut squash as the skin roasts wonderfully and adds to the sweet, nutty flavour of the flesh as well as giving it a bit more texture. This time I had a pretty onion squash (so-called coz it looks like an onion, on the right in the photo below) my mum gave me from her local farmers’ market. I’d never seen or cooked one before but I waded in anyway and gave it a go!
8-10 pieces of chicken (legs and/or thighs)
2 small red onions
Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C.
If using butternut squash, don’t bother peeling it. Just top and tail it, cut it lengthways, scoop out the seeds and chop it into big chunky cubes. I did peel the onion squash coz it looked quite fibrous but otherwise I treated it the same.
Halve the onions and cut the peppers into fairly big chunks. You could use courgettes, aubergine, baby new potatoes or any other veggies you fancy. Quarter the lemons.
Check the chicken. Cut off any excess fat or skin.
Put everything – the vegetables, chicken and lemons into a large shallow roasting tin. Dot the garlic all over it, season, sprinkle with dried thyme and drizzle some oil over the top. Now get a large serving spoon or use your hands to give it a really good mix up. You want it all to have a good coating of all the flavours and to give the lemons a head start at releasing their juice.
Make sure all the chicken pieces are skin side up and that the lemons are evenly spaced. Chuck it in the oven for 40 minutes. Give it a bit of a jiggle halfway through but other than that you can go off and do more important stuff (faff about on Twitter) while it cooks.
It’s ready when the chicken is cooked through and crispy and the veggies are nicely golden and roasty toasty. And there’ll be a lovely sticky, sharp lemon sauce in the bottom of the tray that you can drizzle over the top when you serve it.