Sometimes you come home, look in the fridge and think ‘I just can’t be bothered, let’s get a takeaway’. Or in my case, with no restaurants willing to deliver to the Suffolk outback, settle for beans on toast. Reader, this could be our salvation.
It doesn’t take any longer than twiddling your thumbs waiting for a delivery, it’s healthier (like any of us care at this point) and it’s cheaper. It does assume though that you have some chicken joints knocking around your fridge and an assortment of veg and spices. I cheated on the spices - I used a bought Lebanese Seven Spice mix. Sue me.
If you don’t have any or want to make your own, mix equal amounts of ground black pepper, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and fenugreek. I served the finished dish with freekeh, ready-made from a packet. What? It had been a long day.
Lebanese Seven Spice Chicken (serves 4)
1 kg chicken thighs and drumsticks, on the bone
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp Lebanese Seven Spice powder
Salt and pepper
2 red onions, peeled and quartered
2-4 sweet (bell) peppers, de-seeded and quartered
2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
A punnet of cherry tomatoes
1 lemon, 1/2 thinly sliced, the other half juiced
More oil, salt and pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6. Drizzle the chicken with oil and rub with the spice mixture. Season with salt and pepper and if you have time, leave to one side to marinate.
Prepare the vegetables. Place the chicken in your biggest baking tray and put a sliver of garlic and a cherry tomato in each pepper quarter. Arrange around the chicken, scattering in the remaining tomatoes and the onions. Tuck the lemon slices up against the chicken pieces and squeeze over the remaining lemon half.
Season with more salt and pepper, drizzle with a little more oil and roast in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through and the vegetables are beginning to char a bit at the edges.