Jo and Susan’s Chicken Tray Bake

We had a family birthday celebration here today – 13 adults and 5 small children. So the meal had to be easy to prepare and even easier to serve – just pop on the table with some rice or potatoes and a salad. I’ve made a version of this a few times, but this is my friend Susan’s recipe – so much better than mine and worked perfectly. And apologies for my photo today – with so much going on around me I almost forgot to take the photo for you.

Jo and Susan’s Chicken Tray Bake

The ingredients are for 8 people but it’s easy to make this for 2 or 20 – just modify the ingredients. If you’re making it for 20, just use two baking dishes.

8 chicken thighs with skin on (these are available packed in the meat section of the supermarket but are different than those provided in the deli section which are without skin. The ones I found with skin on were big thighs, and I cut each one in half).
1 jar pesto
2 cans cannelloni beans, drained
1 jar pepper strips (or 1 capsicum cut into 1cm strips)
20 pitted kalamata olives, cut in half
1 punnet baby tomatoes, cut in half
1 hot chorizo, skinned and cut into small pieces
100g semi dried tomatoes
Zest of 1 lemon
Lots of thyme
Salt & pepper
drizzle of olive oil
3 tbsp vin cotto
50g crumbled feta
small handful of chopped parsley


The dish can be prepared the day before if necessary. Just cover and keep in the fridge.

Into a ceramic baking dish (@ 30cm x 24cm) put the beans, pepper or capsicum strips, olives, tomatoes, chorizo, semi dried tomatoes, lemon zest, thyme, salt and pepper. Mix and spread across the base of the dish.
Put the chicken, cut in half, into a bowl and mix with 2/3rds of the jar of pesto then pop the chicken, skin side up, on top of the ingredients in the baking dish.
Drizzle with the olive oil and vin cotto, and dot with the left-over pesto, then place into a 180 degree oven for 1 hour till the top is browned.

Serve sprinkled with crumbled feta and chopped parsley.

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