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Chicken and Pea Traybake

by . Featured in AT MY TABLE

Introduction

I thought I had exhausted the culinary possibilities of a pack of frozen peas, but my friend, and excellent cook, Alex Andreou, led me by the hand – it does take a leap of faith – to his method of using them, still frozen, as the first layer of a traybake. It’s a life-changer. The peas become soft and sweet in the heat – duller in colour, but so much more vibrant in flavour – and the steam they produce as they bake makes the chicken beautifully tender, its skin crackly and crisp on top.

What’s key here is the size of the roasting tin. I wouldn’t go any smaller – measuring from inside rim to inside rim – than about 38 x 28cm / 15 x 11inches (a little larger is fine) as there needs to be space around the chicken thighs for the magic to happen.

I thought I had exhausted the culinary possibilities of a pack of frozen peas, but my friend, and excellent cook, Alex Andreou, led me by the hand – it does take a leap of faith – to his method of using them, still frozen, as the first layer of a traybake. It’s a life-changer. The peas become soft and sweet in the heat – duller in colour, but so much more vibrant in flavour – and the steam they produce as they bake makes the chicken beautifully tender, its skin crackly and crisp on top.

What’s key here is the size of the roasting tin. I wouldn’t go any smaller – measuring from inside rim to inside rim – than about 38 x 28cm / 15 x 11inches (a little larger is fine) as there needs to be space around the chicken thighs for the magic to happen.

Image of Nigella's Chicken and Pea Traybake
Photo by Jonathan Lovekin

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What 27 Others have said

  • Tried it this week-end, with leftover red wine instead of vermouth, it was one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten.

    Posted by Reverbere on 12th November 2018
  • What a tasty dish! So easy to make and packed with flavour. I can honestly say this will become a regular for our family

    Posted by Luvliv1980 on 5th November 2018
  • This has become a family favorite since I first made it several months ago. The dill creates a very delicate flavor balance, and the chicken turns out crispy on the top and juicy inside every time.

    Posted by Maggieb02 on 5th November 2018
  • Absolutely brilliant! I like that there are only a few simple ingredients and the steps are not complicated and easy to follow.

    Posted by MVCSwan on 4th November 2018
  • Well I took that leap of faith! And so glad I did what a warm brilliant comfort dish ! So simple but so amazing!

    Posted by Boonumber-1 on 4th November 2018
  • Yum! I must admit I was a bit skeptical before I made this- there didn't seem to be enough STUFF for it to end up tasting anything other than a tray of overcooked peas. As per usual I was proved pleasantly wrong: it testifies to the magic of food, how a few ingredients used well together can transform even the humblest of standby items into a total mouth fiesta. The peas are so sweet (in a non-sickly way) and don't taste even remotely overcooked or soggy. And neither the wine or leek make it overpoweringly oniony or alcoholic- everything comes together in friendly foodie harmony. Better still, those peas taste AMAZING the next day. I ate them directly out of the container while standing in front of the fridge in my PJs at 5.30am...I only intended to conduct a quick taste test but two minutes later I was chasing the last pea around the bottom of an empty container. Unconventional though it may be, veggies for breakfast can only be a good thing, right?? At the very least it's a compliment to the chef. THANK YOU!

    Posted by LolaFontaine on 18th August 2018
  • This is such a consistently great recipe, it can be done for a dinner party with confidence. Always gets rave reviews from our guests. One variation which went down well, was to use Marsala instead of vermouth.

    Posted by Daiviv on 13th August 2018
  • Have just bought peas...chicken..dill...always have wine or vermouth! Cant wait to try this tomorrow

    Posted by evelyngittoes on 6th August 2018
  • Loved this recipe. Improvised..as you do.. added zucchini..carrot..pumpkin..onion..Champagne..didn’t have vermouth..with a side of baked wedges.

    Posted by pariscafe54 on 6th August 2018
  • Been following Nigella forever, but never used her recipes..must be mad! until now. Have cooked two of her recipes this past week and..Wow! Simple ..a Godsend! but packed with yummyness and flavour. What a Gem!

    Posted by pariscafe54 on 6th August 2018
  • Delicious and simple. I used Cairn o mhor Spring Oak Leaf wine and basic table salt, cos that's what I had to hand. First time using Dill (or wine for that matter) in a recipe. Love it. Thank you.

    Posted by Cathii on 4th August 2018
  • This has become another delicious tray bake staple. Love that I always have these ingredients on hand, though I have substituted dry dill for fresh in a pinch. Thank you!

    Posted by akaz on 4th August 2018
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