CHICKEN AND PEA TRAYBAKE
Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 1 hrs 30 min
From: Nigella Lawson
7 cups frozen petit peas (about 2 pounds)
5 medium to large leeks (about 14 ounces trimmed weight), cut into 1-inch slices (note: if the light green part of the leek looks dirty in between the outer rings, remove the outermost layers and rinse them well)
2 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 cup dry white vermouth
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 teaspoons sea salt flakes or kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
1 small bunch dill, torn into pieces
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
TO SERVE: steamed or boiled baby potatoes, mashed potatoes, or rice or other grains (optional)
Heat the oven to 400° F and clatter the frozen peas into a large roasting pan (Nigella says not to go smaller—measuring inside from inside rim to inside rim—than about 15 by 11 inches, and a little larger is fine), followed by the leeks, garlic, vermouth, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 2 teaspoons of salt, and most of the dill. Turn everything together in the pan—breaking up any large clumps of the frozen peas—until well mixed. I advise you to wear CSI gloves for this, just to stop you from getting frostbite, though you still will feel the cold.
Arrange the chicken thighs, skin-side up, on top, then drizzle them with a little olive oil and give them a good sprinkling of salt, before roasting in the oven for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven, give the peas a small stir or tamp down, so that the few that are sitting on the surface and drying out a little are submerged in the liquid. Don’t so the same to the leeks, however, as the bits that are peeking out will become desirably caramelized in the heat. Put back in the oven for a further 30 minutes, by which time the peas and leeks will be soft, and the chicken tender and cooked through, its skin golden and crisp.
Tear off the remaining dill fronds, and scatter over the top on serving, perhaps with some simply steamed baby potatoes to soak up the pea and chicken juices.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION MAKE AHEAD / STORE: Refrigerate leftovers, within 2 hour of cooking, in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in a saucepan or microwave until piping hot all the way through. If you prefer, you can use light chicken stock in place of the vermouth or wine