This is a real corker of a recipe: the kind that makes want to write it up so soon after dinner that I’m still retrieving bits of it from in between my teeth as I type. It’s particularly good because it reminds me of my dad’s gravy. Now, Dad’s gravy wasn’t to everyone’s taste because it was extremely watery. But! As I get old and nostalgic, I can forgive sins like these, or maybe even admit to the fact that I am just a thinly disguised, thin gravy kinda girl. The only way to eat a thin gravy – aside from drinking it off the side of your plate like my dad used to (I’m not going to forgive him that, it’s revolting) – is to smash a spud into it. And that’s why this dish hits the mark. Thin meaty gravy plus crushed spud: can’t beat it.
I made it up last night because I had intended to cook with the chickpeas I had soaked overnight, and then I was lucky enough to find some free-range chicken on reduction, ending my intentions towards a meat-free midweek. I also needed to use up a load of chard that was going floppy in the salad drawer. (Instagram followers will notice that about 90% of Gannet & Parrot food porn currently involves some form of chard.) What occurred is a really easy all-in-one dinner. You could easily substitute the chard with spinach or kale but it would be a shame to omit the canned artichoke hearts. Much cheaper and infinitely less effort than the fresh versions and, I think, just as summery and satisfying when paired with plenty of garlic, rosemary and lemon – as in this dish. Make sure you use waxy new potatoes for the smash, you want them soft enough to soak up the chicken juices but not so soft that the dish becomes claggy. Enjoy.
Baked chicken, artichoke hearts, chard, chickpeas, smashed new potatoes
8 chicken pieces on the bone
1 lemon, cut into wedges
8-10 garlic bulbs, skinned
4-5 sprigs rosemary
Salt and pepper
100g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and cooked (or 1 can of pre-cooked)
1 can artichoke hearts
Half a crown of chard leaves (about 200-250g), sliced
650g waxy potatoes
Large knob of butter
Pre-heat oven to 180c
Trim the chicken pieces and lay them on top of the rosemary stalks, whole garlic cloves and lemon wedges in a large roasting dish. Season with plenty of salt and pepper then bake in the oven at 180c for about an hour until the chicken is almost cooked through and the skin is crisp.
Remove the chicken from oven, there should be plenty of thin, lemony chicken juices still in the tray. Add the artichokes and chickpeas, cover with a layer of baking parchment or foil and return to the oven for a further 20 minutes.
While the chicken is finishing, boil the new potatoes in salted water until cooked, about 15 minutes.
When the time is up, remove the chicken and set to one side on a warmed plate to rest while you finish the dish.
Place the roasting dish over a low, direct heat and add the sliced chard leaves. Cook, stirring regularly for a few minutes until the chard is cooked through but still retaining its colour.
Lastly, mash the cooked potato with plenty of butter and then stir it into the roasting dish, letting it soak up all the thin but fragrant juices.
This dish needs no accompaniment but it would work well as part of a summer buffet and certainly with a glass of cold beer. It can be made in advance to be served cold or reheated. If you plan to cook ahead, omit adding the chard until the reheating stage.
What are your favourite summer time one-pot wonders?
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About Chloe King
I'm a freelance writer, designer and webby type. I live with my husband and daughter in the south of England. I like to cook and can throw a good party.
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