This Spanish Chicken Tray Bake is absolutely bursting with flavour! Stress free dinners don’t come more delicious than this!
Oooooo you guys. Have I got a recipe for you! Literally no effort at all, bung it in a tray, pop it in the oven and allow your kitchen to fill with the most gorgeous scent imaginable. Perfect for weeknight dinner!
Spanish Chicken Tray Bake
First things first – let’s talk chicken. For this recipe you’ll need bone in skin on chicken thighs. Thighs are great because they tend to be fattier than breast, meaning they can take much higher heat for a longer period of time before they dry out. Having the bone in ensure the thighs cook more evenly, whilst having the skin on gives you a gorgeous crispy layer to go on top.
Can I use chicken breast?
Due to the above reasons I do not recommend using regular chicken breast for this recipe. You can however use drumsticks as that is dark meat and will be able to take on the heat.
I know I promised a fuss free dinner, and it totally is. I just ask one thing – that you marinate the chicken. Marinate for as long as you can (up to overnight). If you’re in a rush then still use the marinade. 1 minute is better than no minutes!
How to make a Chicken Tray Bake
Alrighty, chicken thighs injected with some gorgeous flavour, it’s time to tray bake! Honourable mentions for the tray bake ingredients are chorizo, potatoes and orange zest. Chicken and chorizo is a match made in heaven, and when this chorizo bakes it releases gorgeous flavour into the base of the pan. The potatoes soak up that gorgeous flavour and bulk out the tray bake. The orange zest is the secret weapon of the whole dish and really adds a gorgeous burst of flavour.
Once you’ve nestled the chicken thighs into the tray, give it all an initial roast, take the tray out throw on some olives and cherry tomatoes, then roast again until cooked through.
Why take the tray out half way through cooking?
- I find that by putting the tomatoes in at the beginning, they release too much moisture and everything begins to steam instead of caramelize. Also I like olives a little cooked, not completely wrinkled. So both of these go in half way through.
- You want crispy potatoes on BOTH side, so flipping half way is always a good idea!
- In the bottom of the tray will be heaps of flavour, chuck that flavour right back onto the chicken for maximum flavour! The skin will still go crispy after the second stint in the oven.
Tips for the perfect Spanish Chicken Tray Bake
- Cook the chicken skin side up and leave it skin side up. The skin is the most delicious part in my opinion and nobody wants soggy chicken skin!
- Texture-wise, you want to keep the potatoes exposed to give them the best chance of getting crispy. On the other hand you want to hide the chorizo as much as possible, just to keep it from drying out.
- A little grating of orange zest really brings this dish to life, don’t skip it!
- By the end of the cooking process your tray is going to have a gorgeous layer of oily/fatty/flavour. Please, for heavens sake do not throw it away. Pour it over the chicken at the end, or turn it into a gravy (recipe for that below)
What can I serve with this?
Serving-wise I always go with a decent loaf of bread and a ton of butter. Because clearly the potatoes just aren’t enough for me 😂 Also goes perfectly with rice or just as it is!
If you like this sound of this tray bake be sure to check out my One Pot Spanish Chicken Orzo!
For more similar recipes be sure to give these a ganders too:
Easy One Pan Dinners
- Roasted Chicken Leg Quarters
- Honey Mustard Sausage Tray Bake
- Herb Roasted Spatchcock Chicken
- One Pan Roast Dinner
Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this Spanish chicken tray bake shall we?
How to make a Spanish Chicken Tray Bake (Full Recipe & Video)
Spanish Chicken Tray Bake
- Large Deep Baking Tray (mine is 30cmx40cm / 12"x16")
- Large Mixing Bowl, Tongs & Cling Film (for marinating chicken)
- Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
- Zester/Fine Grater (for orange zest)
Ingredients (check list):
- 2lb/1kg bone-in skin-on Chicken Thighs (see notes)
- 3 tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 tsp Smoked Paprika (can sub regular paprika)
- 1.5 tsp Oregano
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper (reduce if you don't like spice)
- 1/2 large Lemon juice only
- 14oz / 400g Baby Potatoes, halved
- 7oz / 200g Spanish Chorizo, sliced into around 8 pieces (3cm/1")
- 7oz / 200g Cherry Tomatoes
- 2/3 cup / 100g pitted Mixed Spanish Olives, or olives of choice
- 5-6 cloves of Garlic, lightly crushed (skins left on)
- 2 small/medium White Onions, quartered & peeled
- 2 red, yellow or orange Peppers, sliced in large wedges (2cm/ 3/4" wide)
- 1/2 large Orange, zest only
- few sprigs of Fresh Rosemary
- Olive Oil, as needed
- Salt & Pepper, as needed
- Whisk together smoked paprika, oregano, salt, cayenne pepper & black pepper with olive oil and lemon juice in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the chicken thighs until completely coated, then tightly cover and marinate in the fridge for as long as you have time for (2 - 24 hours). If you're pushed for time just marinate at room temp whilst you prep the other ingredients.
- In a large deep baking tray combine potatoes, peppers, onion, chorizo, rosemary and garlic with a light drizzle of oil and a pinch of salt & pepper. Nestle in the chicken thighs (skin side up) and brush with any leftover marinade. Ensure the potatoes are all visible to allow them to crisp, then make sure the chorizo is more hidden to prevent it from burning. Place in the oven at 200C/400F for 30mins.
- Remove from the oven, flip the potatoes and baste the chicken with the juices in the base of the pan. Evenly scatter over the olives, tomatoes and orange zest, then place back in the oven for another 15mins, or until the chicken is piping hot through the centre and lightly charred/crisp on top. The tomatoes and olives should be slightly wrinkled with the potatoes soft all the way through.
- Evenly divide everything for serving, then whisk the liquid left in the pan to combine the fats & juices. This is bonus flavour! Plus the garlic will be buttery soft, do with that what you will.
Quick 1 min demo!
- Increased the number of baby potatoes and olives very slightly.
- Lowered the time and temp slightly from 210C/410F for 55-60mins, to 200C/400F for 45mins. Although just be vigilant of large pieces of chicken incase they do take a little longer. The more I make this recipe the rarer it is I go past 45mins though.
- Removed the gravy. The more I make this recipe the less I make it, and the juices in the pan are delicious enough. If you still enjoy the gravy it was just 1-2tbsp flour mixed in with the juices over medium heat, then 2cups/500ml whisked in with 1 tsp honey, a squeeze of lemon juices and s&p to taste.
Your Private Notes:
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