I’m going to be blogging some of the recipes that I’m both recreating from my limited collection of recipe books and inventing from scratch. The first of these is something that I did invent myself, it’s a Chicken Thigh Traybake with Carrot Pepper Couscous.
Obviously being a student, it’s all about being thrifty and saving money. I calculated the cost of the meal per head and it came to £0.62 per person. I didn’t include the cost of herbs and spices in my calculations.
The couscous is shopbought and cost just £0.39 but I add the roasted carrots and pepper from the traybake to it which take on lots of flavour from the spices in the traybake and the chicken. Chicken thighs are a much cheaper alternative to chicken breast and they not only have more flavour but if you get ones with the skin still on, you can crisp up the chicken skin and it’s amazing! You can choose to debone them but I found it was more hassle to debone them when you could just chuck it all in at once!
You can also add other vegetables to the traybake such as red onions, courgettes or aubergines but it’s up to your taste. A small amount of dried chilli flakes adds a background warmth to the vegetables. A lot of oil comes out but I would advise not throwing it away as it contains so much flavour with the roasted garlic, the sweetness of the carrots and pepper as well as the meatiness of the chicken thighs and heat from the chilli.
2 carrots, peeled
1 yellow pepper (up to you which colour, it was what I had)
5 chicken thighs, with the bones in
½ tsp smoked paprika
¼ tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tsp chopped garlic
50ml sunflower oil
1 pack of Roasted Vegetable Couscous
Salt and pepper to season
Preheat the oven to 200˚C.
Chop up your carrots into rounds about 0.5cm wide and your pepper into squares roughly the same size. Throw them into your roasting dish so they cover the base.
Add in your chicken thighs, skin side up. Season again and then sprinkle over the paprika, chilli and garlic. Rub the oil all over the chicken and toss it in with the vegetables until everything is evenly coated. Make sure that the skin is facing upwards.
Bake the chicken and vegetables for around 40 minutes until the chicken skin has browned and is crisp and when you press the chicken, the juices run clear.
During the baking, make your couscous as instructed on the packet, adding a pinch of salt and pepper to add extra flavour. Fluff the couscous up with a fork and allow to cool.
Once your traybake is done, lift out the chicken thighs and place them onto some kitchen towel on a plate to drain away the excess oil. Pour the excess oil in the roasting tin into a bowl – save it for cooking other meals! Put it into a glass jar if you have one, or wash out a jam jar and dry well. Add the carrots and peppers into the couscous and mix to incorporate in.
To serve, place one of the chicken thighs on a plate with some of the couscous and enjoy!