What’s cooking today: Chicken and lime tray bake

What’s cooking today: Chicken and lime tray bake
Tony Jackman’s chicken and lime tray bake. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

Got to love a chicken tray bake. This is one of my personal favourites, packed with zesty limes and garlic.

Chicken tray bakes became a family favourite when we were living in the south of England. Times were tight and chicken pieces were cheap. The oven tray was put to regular use and, more often than not, what went into it was chicken thighs.

It’s the perfect solution when you’re tired after getting home from work. All you need do is preheat the oven, add chicken and simple supermarket vegetables to an oiled tray, pour more oil and seasonings over, and bung it in the oven for about an hour. Done.

The chicken thighs are marinated before cooking, so you could put that together in the morning for them to marinate while you’re out. Or just fling it together when you get home.

This really is easy to throw together. Just grab a bag of cauliflower and broccoli florets and some butternut chunks from the veggie section of the supermarket. This is the kind of recipe they’re for.

I used avocado oil, as it goes well with the lime, but use another oil if you prefer.

(Serves 4)


For the marinade:

Juice of 3 limes and zest of 1

6 garlic cloves, chopped

Salt and black pepper

8 chicken thighs

For the bake:

The marinated chicken thighs

Avocado oil, as needed

Broccoli florets

Cauliflower florets

Butternut chunks (or choose other veg instead of these three)

3 additional limes, halved

Salt and black pepper


In a bowl or tub, mix the lime juice and zest, garlic, salt and black pepper and dunk the chicken thighs in it, turning them over. Cover and refrigerate for three hours or the rest of the day.

Remove from the fridge an hour before starting to cook.

Preheat the oven to 240℃ or thereabouts (yes, a chicken bake needs a really hot oven).

Oil the base of a deep oven pan and add the marinated thighs. Place vegetables between them, wedging them in (it usually looks like there isn’t enough space for them but just shove them in). 

Wedge the lime halves in too.

Season it all with salt and black pepper and drizzle more oil over everything.

Bake for about an hour, shaking the pan every 20 minutes. Squeeze some of the hot limes over your food before tucking in. DM/TGIFood

Follow Tony Jackman on Instagram @tony_jackman_cooks.


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