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Indian-Spiced Chicken and Potato Traybake

by . Featured in AT MY TABLE
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Introduction

It’s no secret that I love a chicken traybake – or sheet pan dinner, if you prefer – as those of you have made my Chicken Traybake with Bitter Orange and Fennel, Chicken and Pea Traybake, and One Pan Sage and Onion Chicken and Sausage know only too well. But this is another absolute favourite in my house, and I’m thrilled it has now found a home on the website.

There is just something incontestably relaxing about bunging everything in a roasting tin and thence into the oven where it can cook merrily away without any input from you. And there is much less washing up at the end, too.

Easy as this recipe is, I do require you to peel the potatoes. Now, I’m not one for peeling potatoes if I can get away with it generally, but here you want the cubes of potato not to crisp up in the oven but to drink in the spiced lime and chicken juices as they cook, becoming soft and soused.

And should you have any chicken leftover, you can make one of my favourite sandwiches: for one chicken thigh (take the meat off the bone and then shred or chop it), you mix together a tablespoonful of mayo, a pinch of salt and a teaspoon each of garam masala and mango chutney; stir your shredded chicken into this and clamp between two pieces of bread.

Finally, although you can make the pink-pickled onions just before you assemble the traybake, I like to do it a few hours in advance or even the night before. And to make these, simply cut a small red onion (or half a larger one) into fine half moons, cover with lime juice, and leave to steep, removing them from the lime juice to serve.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

It’s no secret that I love a chicken traybake – or sheet pan dinner, if you prefer – as those of you have made my Chicken Traybake with Bitter Orange and Fennel, Chicken and Pea Traybake, and One Pan Sage and Onion Chicken and Sausage know only too well. But this is another absolute favourite in my house, and I’m thrilled it has now found a home on the website.

There is just something incontestably relaxing about bunging everything in a roasting tin and thence into the oven where it can cook merrily away without any input from you. And there is much less washing up at the end, too.

Easy as this recipe is, I do require you to peel the potatoes. Now, I’m not one for peeling potatoes if I can get away with it generally, but here you want the cubes of potato not to crisp up in the oven but to drink in the spiced lime and chicken juices as they cook, becoming soft and soused.

And should you have any chicken leftover, you can make one of my favourite sandwiches: for one chicken thigh (take the meat off the bone and then shred or chop it), you mix together a tablespoonful of mayo, a pinch of salt and a teaspoon each of garam masala and mango chutney; stir your shredded chicken into this and clamp between two pieces of bread.

Finally, although you can make the pink-pickled onions just before you assemble the traybake, I like to do it a few hours in advance or even the night before. And to make these, simply cut a small red onion (or half a larger one) into fine half moons, cover with lime juice, and leave to steep, removing them from the lime juice to serve.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

Image of Nigella's Indian-Spiced Chicken Traybake
Photo by Jonathan Lovekin

Ingredients

Serves: 6

Metric Cups
  • 1½ kilograms potatoes (peeled and cut into approx. 2cm/1in cubes)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
  • 2 teaspoons nigella seeds
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • finely grated zest and juice of 2 limes
  • 4 cloves of garlic (peeled and minced)
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt flakes plus more for sprinkling
  • 4 x 15ml tablespoons cold water
  • 12 chicken thighs with skin on and bone in
  • 2 x 15ml tablespoons cold-pressed rapeseed oil or regular olive oil

To serve

  • fresh coriander
  • quick-pickled onions
  • 3¼ pounds potatoes (peeled and cut into approx. 2cm/1in cubes)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
  • 2 teaspoons nigella seeds
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • finely grated zest and juice of 2 limes
  • 4 cloves of garlic (peeled and minced)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt plus more for sprinkling
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • 12 chicken thighs with skin on and bone in
  • 2 tablespoons cold-pressed rapeseed oil or regular olive oil

To serve

  • cilantro
  • quick-pickled onions

Method

  1. Make the pink-pickled onions, as directed in the intro.
  2. Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C Fan/425°F. Put the cut potatoes into a large, shallowish roasting tin (mine measures 37 x 34cm / 15 x 14in) and sprinkle with the spices, followed by the lime zest and juice, garlic, 2 teaspoons of salt and the water.
  3. Tumble the chicken into the tin, and toss everything well together then turn the chicken skin-side up on top of the potatoes. Drizzle the skin with the oil and sprinkle over a little salt, then cook in the oven for 1 hour, or until the potatoes are tender and the chicken cooked through, its skin golden and crisp. Serve scattered with chopped coriander and, if wished, the quick-pickled onions.
  1. Make the pink-pickled onions, as directed in the intro.
  2. Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C Fan/425°F. Put the cut potatoes into a large, shallowish roasting tin (mine measures 37 x 34cm / 15 x 14in) and sprinkle with the spices, followed by the lime zest and juice, garlic, 2 teaspoons of salt and the water.
  3. Tumble the chicken into the tin, and toss everything well together then turn the chicken skin-side up on top of the potatoes. Drizzle the skin with the oil and sprinkle over a little salt, then cook in the oven for 1 hour, or until the potatoes are tender and the chicken cooked through, its skin golden and crisp. Serve scattered with chopped coriander and, if wished, the quick-pickled onions.

Additional Information

MAKE AHEAD / STORE:
It is not advisable to make ahead but you can refrigerate leftover chicken, within 2 hours of cooking, in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Eat cold.

MAKE AHEAD / STORE:
It is not advisable to make ahead but you can refrigerate leftover chicken, within 2 hours of cooking, in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Eat cold.

Tell us what you think

What 3 Others have said

  • Wonderful recipe! Finally tried it tonight. Hugely flavoursome and very easy. I followed the ingredients exactly but there were three things I did slightly differently: 1) I put the spice seeds into a mini grinder and ground it into powder before proceeding; 2) Mine were done in 45mins, both potatoes and chicken; 3) I did not peel the potatoes. There is enough cut surfaces to absorb the flavour.

    Posted by Bobby_C on 19th June 2022
  • I made this tonight and it was delicious. I had to use the ingredients that I had, so used lemon instead of lime. I will definitely be cooking this again so will try lime next time.

    Posted by Tflette on 8th May 2022
  • This was absolutely delicious! I wasn’t sure when I started how this recipe would turn out it its very easy. Minimum effort, maximum taste. I only had skinless, boneless chicken thighs in freezer and had to use them so put them on the baking tray after about 15 minutes of the potatoes cooking. I had a floury variety of potato so everything cooked much quicker than the hour set out in the recipe and I also turned my fan oven down to 180C. I put the thighs in some curry paste for a few minutes before cooking which enhanced the flavour, will definitely make again and I will add some baby spinach leaves for a few minutes before the end of the cooking time.

    Posted by Mel22_ on 21st January 2022
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