Tag Archives: asparagus

Italian Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Traybake

It’s been a while since we blogged any Italian food which feels like a bit of a cheat because we love it and usually cook something Italian inspired at least once a week. This is another of our “bung it in the oven” specials (we seem to have a lot of those!), leaving you free to relax after work (or do something dangerously productive). It’s a little similar to our Salmon Traybake, but with a few Italian twists.

Ingredients

  • New potatoes, halved/quartered depending on size
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 large springs of rosemary
  • 6 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
  • Vine tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Asparagus
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Parboil the new potatoes for a few minutes until slightly tender. Once the potatoes are boiling place a large roasting dish in the oven with 1 tbsp of the olive oil in it and some salt and pepper. Drain the potatoes, let as much of the water evaporate as possible and then tip them into the hot oil. Give them a good stir/shake around to get them coated and then put in the oven.

Take the chicken breasts, lay a sprig of rosemary on each of them and then wrap each one in 3 rashers of bacon. After the potatoes have been in the oven for 10-15 minutes and are starting to colour, move them to one side of the dish and lay the chicken breasts on the other side. Coat the vine tomatoes in half the remaining oil, the balsamic vinegar and seasoning and place these in the dish too.

Sometimes it's hard to make raw meat look appetising - not on this occasion!
Sometimes it’s hard to make raw meat look appetising – not on this occasion!

After all of this has had another 15-20 minutes mix the asparagus with the lemon juice, remaining olive oil and seasoning. Tip these over the potatoes in the roasting tin and then, using a vegetable peeler, take shavings of parmesan and place liberally over the whole dish. Use as much or as little parmesan as you like (as you’ll probably know by now, we are cheese obsessed so use plenty!). Leave this to roast for 10 more minutes then take out, throw over a few more parmesan shavings and serve!

That parmesan is gonna melt and be sooo gooood...
That parmesan is gonna melt and be sooo gooood…

We’re big fans of one-pan wonders, and this is definitely one of the best. So easy, really tasty and minimal washing up, so you can put your feet up for the rest of the evening!

Chicken and Bacon

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Salmon and Asparagus Traybake

Fish again! This recipe is taken from an old Jamie Oliver book (we think) which has been adapted over time. Bird first had it at her step-grandmothers which was great, but there was definite room for improvement. It’s nearly a one-pan wonder, it’s really good for you and pretty quick too.

Ingredients:

  • New potatoes – we use about 400-500g for 2 people
  • Salmon fillets
  • Asparagus or fine beans – about 200g
  • Cherry/baby plum tomatoes – a large handful
  • Olives (we like kalamata best) – a handful
  • 1 lemon
  • A small handful of basil leaves
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Start off by parboiling some new potatoes by putting them in cold water, bringing them to the boil and then letting them cook for just a few minutes. You should never parboil by putting potatoes into already boiling water – this makes the outside go mushy while the inside stays completely raw – you want them to heat up with the water. While they are coming to the boil preheat the oven to 200°C. Drain the potatoes and then let them sit for a minute in the sieve/colander so that as much water as possible evaporates ensuring you end up with crispy skins. While this is happening pop a large roasting dish with a glug of olive oil and some seasoning into the oven. After a few minutes take the dish out of the oven, throw the potatoes in (be careful of the hot oil), mix them around so they are coated in the seasoned oil and put the tray back in the oven. If you want to you can add herbs at this stage – rosemary or thyme would be particularly nice – but you don’t need them, there are enough flavours in the rest of the dish.

Potatoes!
Potatoes!

It will take around 30-40 minutes until the potatoes are nice and crispy and the rest of the dish cooks in the last 10 minutes so now you can go and chill out for a bit/crack open the white wine.

Suitably refreshed, saunter back to the kitchen and snap the woody ends off a pack of asparagus and add to a bowl along with a large handful of cherry or baby plum tomatoes, as many olives as you like, about 6-10 roughly shredded fresh basil leaves, the juice of half a lemon, a glug of olive oil and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Mix this all around and then you’re ready to go!

Watch as Bird magically heals an asparagus stem!
Watch as Bird magically heals an asparagus stem!
So fresh and appetising
So fresh and appetising

Take the roasting dish out of the oven and move the potatoes over to one side. Lay the salmon fillets skin side down on the roasting tin and then pour the asparagus mixture over the top of the salmon as shown below.

Salmon and potatoes

Chuck the veg all over!
Chuck the veg all over!

Roast with the potatoes for 10 minutes and this is what you end up with:

The finished article! Especially good earlier in the year in asparagus season
The finished article! Especially good earlier in the year in asparagus season

If you can’t find asparagus (or you just don’t like it) the original recipe used fine beans so feel free to use these. Remember they will need parboiling first so they’re not undercooked and crunchy (how Bird first experienced them!).