500g chicken thighs
500g chicken drumsticks
1 onion quartered
3-4 cloves of garlic whole
Half a lemon
Spices: 1/4 tsp salt, garlic granules, cumin, all spice
- Preheat oven to 375F, 190C, Gas 5. Mix all of your spices together
- Wash chicken and line a baking dish, skin down. Add onion and garlic
- Sprinkle each piece of chicken with a pinch or two of the spice mixture. Save the remaining spice for later
- Squeeze lemon juice over each piece of chicken
- Add water to the baking dish. Enough for the chicken to be covered halfway. This will create a nice, mild gravy to pour over rice or potatoes and vegetables. *see note below* Put into the oven and bake for 20 minutes
- After 20 minutes take chicken out and flip. Sprinkle each piece with a pinch or two of spice mixture. Squeeze lemon juice over each piece of chicken then add the lemon to the dish. If the water is looking low, add a little more. Put into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the juices run clear
- To crisp the skin, broil the chicken for 5 minutes. In the UK, this is the same as putting it under the grill for 5 minutes. The skin will brown and crisp nicely
I don’t often cook with boneless chicken or white meat for three reasons 1) I find white meat very dry 2) dark meat contains more nutrients 3) bones are nutrient powerhouses. When cooking chicken on the bone, with a little water, a gravy is made, and adding lemon to the water helps to extract minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium from the bone. It’s good to remember that the bones of an animal are just as important as the muscle meat, and when possible, they should compliment each other.
Baked chicken is such an easy family food – put it in the oven and pretty much forget about it. It’s perfect for baby led weaning, toddlers, growing adolescents and mom and dad. Everyone has their comfort foods – those foods that make them happy – gives them a metaphorical hug and says, ‘everything is going to be better because you’re eating me!’ Growing up in South Louisiana, it’s almost a prerequisite to claim fried chicken and chicken with rice and gravy as two of your comfort foods. This baked chicken is possibly better than southern fried chicken, and it goes without saying, much healthier. It’s comfort food at its best!
Serve chicken and gravy with your choice of side dish. Sometimes I serve with rice, sometimes with cauliflower rice, sometimes with roasted potatoes. Always with vegetables like beans, broccoli and carrots.