Chicken/ Hearty Dinners

Spanish Chicken Tray Bake

August 14, 2018 (Last Updated: June 16, 2020) by Chris Collins

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 din dins!

tray bake fresh out the oven with metal serving spoon digging in

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.

Chicken Marinade

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! Here’s what you’ll need as the base flavour for the chicken:

  • Olive Oil
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Oregano
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Lemon Juice

How to make Spanish Chicken Tray Bake - marinading chicken step by step photos

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?

  1. 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.
  2. You want crispy potatoes on BOTH side, so flipping half way is always a good idea!
  3. 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.

How to make Spanish Chicken Tray Bake 3 step by step photos

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

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this Spanish chicken tray bake shall we?

chicken tray bake served on plate with bread and butter with golden fork resting on side

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How to make a Spanish Chicken Tray Bake (Full Recipe & Video)

tray bake fresh out the oven with metal serving spoon digging in

Spanish Chicken Tray Bake

This Spanish Chicken Tray Bake is absolutely bursting with flavour! Stress free dinners don't come more delicious than this!
5 from 11 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner / Main Course
Cuisine: Spanish
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings (click & slide): 4
Calories: 838kcal
Cost per serving: £2.50 / $3

Equipment:

  • Large Deep Baking Tray
  • Large Mixing Bowl & Cling Film
  • Small Pot (for marinade)
  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board

Ingredients (check list):

Marinade

  • 6 Chicken Thighs (bone in, skin on)
  • 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 (more or less to taste)
  • 1/2 Lemon (juice of)

Tray Bake

  • 7oz / 200g Chorizo, sliced
  • 1 cup / 200g Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup / 50g Olives
  • 8-12 Baby Potatoes, halved
  • 5-6 cloves of Garlic, lightly crushed (skins left on)
  • 1 large White Onion, sliced
  • 1 Red Pepper, cored & sliced
  • 1 Orange/Yellow Pepper, cored & sliced
  • 1/2 Orange, zest only
  • few sprigs of Rosemary
  • Olive Oil, as needed
  • Salt & Black Pepper, to taste

Gravy (optional)

  • 2 cups / 500ml Chicken Stock
  • 1 tbsp Flour
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • 1/2 Lemon, juice only
  • Salt & Black Pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  • Combine your marinade and chicken thighs in a suitably sized bowl, cover with cling film and marinate for as long as you time for (up to overnight).
  • Combine all of your tray bake ingredients apart from the olives & tomatoes in a large tray. Mix with a drizzle of olive oil and a good pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Evenly lay your chicken thighs on top (skin side up). Ensure your potatoes are all visible to allow them to crisp, then make sure the chorizo is more hidden to prevent it from drying. Grate over orange zest and place in the oven at 210C/410F for 30mins.
  • Take out the oven, flip the potatoes and baste the chicken with the juices. Evenly toss in your tomatoes and olives, then pop back in the oven for another 25-30 mins or until the chicken skin is crispy and begins to char.
  • Serve with endless amounts of bread and butter, rice or just as it is!

Homemade Gravy (optional)

  • Once you've taken everything out, keep the juices in the tray and pop over low-medium heat on the stove.
  • Stir in flour to create a paste, then gradually add in your stock. Add your lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper. Stir until thickened.

Quick 1 min demo!

Notes:

a) Save the juices! - Whether you choose to make the gravy or not, that oil at the bottom of the tray is packed full of flavour. A little drizzle over the chicken when it's served will work wonders.
b) Can I use other parts of chicken? - You could use drumsticks or a mix or drumsticks and thighs, just be vigilant of timing if they are different sizes. I don't recommend using breasts, the tray is in the oven too long for them to stay moist. 
c) Serving size and calories - This will feed 4 hungry people and 6 with a side of bread, rice or another side. Calories are based on feeding 4 without the gravy.

Nutrition:

Nutrition Facts
Spanish Chicken Tray Bake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 838 Calories from Fat 401
% Daily Value*
Fat 44.54g69%
Saturated Fat 12.234g61%
Trans Fat 0.063g
Polyunsaturated Fat 6.038g
Monounsaturated Fat 23.059g
Cholesterol 316mg105%
Sodium 1693mg71%
Potassium 1706mg49%
Carbohydrates 34.54g12%
Fiber 5.7g23%
Sugar 5.52g6%
Protein 73.23g146%
Vitamin A 4750IU95%
Vitamin C 109.7mg133%
Calcium 90mg9%
Iron 5.6mg31%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
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