A simple, seasonal midweek meal

PREP TIME: 15 mins
COOKING TIME: 40 mins + marinating the day before
IDEAL FOR: midweek meal, easy weekend meal, family, friends

School is back

Furlough is coming to a gradual end.

And let’s pray for this pandemic to disappear or get a vaccine sorted soon!

So, things may seem somewhat ‘normal’ (I know that’s not true) but routines are coming back into play.

And this means, hungry families and busy families.

So this week, I thought a simple seasonal traybake would be the perfect way to kick start our Autumn cooking.

All-in-one traybake dinners

Traybakes are simple and easy to put together so are perfect for a midweek meal or an easy weekend dish.

You don’t need to worry about lots of pans and different timings.

The traybake is the perfect solution for busy times…and if your meal planning has gone out the window.

Plus, one pan equals less washing up… and less groaning.

Versatility of traybakes

A traybake is essentially using one baking tray with a few ingredients thrown in and into the oven for 30-45 minutes.

Et voila!

A good looking, tasty, healthy meal all-in-one.

You can use anything to whip up a meal from lamb to pork, create a half veggie/half meat-lovers and of course get the most out of (the versatile) chicken.

If you read my post earlier this week, you would have discovered how to make a whole chicken last a week.

And the traybake is a great dish to feed those hungry mouths.

Let’s have a quick chicken flash-back

When and why did the chicken become so popular?

Unlike nowadays, the Ancient Egyptians saw chicken meat as a luxury item because their main source of food from the chicken was eggs.

So, when a chicken could no longer produce eggs, it was killed and eaten, so the meat was really only used for special occasions.

It was the Ancient Romans that bred chickens for both eggs and meat.

And back then they were the most expensive type of livestock above both beef or mutton.

Over time chicken popularity declined and it wasn’t until Queen Victoria (mid 19th C) that the chicken came back into its own.

The Queen was given 7 Cochin’s from China and this sparked ‘Hen Fever’ in England and the USA.

Back to business

So, with work, school, Uni all re-starting (or at least trying to) this September the last thing we need to worry about is cooking.

But it’s an important part of our lives.

From health and nutrition to sitting down together as a family (or friends) to unwind and talk about our day.

And hands down, a tray back is the simplest way to go about it.

Keep your household happy and yourself and give this seasonal recipe a go.

Do you have any great traybake recipes to share? Leave a comment…

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5 from 3 votes

Sticky chicken, plum and sweet spice traybake

Course Main Course
Keyword chicken, crowd pleaser, easy, family meals
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Marinade 1 day
Total Time 1 day 55 minutes
Servings 4 people
Cost £


  • 8 chicken thights with skin on


  • 2 plums, quartered and stones removed
  • 1 tsp whole coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp whole fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 peeled garlic clove
  • 1 tbsp demerara sugar
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Roasting tray

  • 3 celery sticks, cut into 5-cm pieces
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 6 unpeeled garlic cloves
  • 6 – 8 quartered and stones removed
  • 1 tbsp demerara sugar
  • A few sprigs of tarragon, to garnish
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season



  • Blitz everything together in a food processor until you have a smooth puree then pour the marinade over the chicken thighs to cover well. Now, cover and place in the fridge to marinate for minimum a couple of hoursor up to 24 hours.
  • Heat your oven to 220°C/200°C fan/425°F and add the celery, onion, garlic and half the plum quarters in a large roasting tray.
  • Add your chicken thighs (skin-side up), and pour any left-over marinade over the chicken. Season and roast for 20 minutes. Remove the tray and baste everything with the juices from the bottom of th tray.
    Turn the oven temperature down to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F and return the chicken to the oven for another 10 mins.
  • Finally, add the remaining plum quarters and sprinkle the sugar over and roast for a final 10 mins.
    Remove from the oven, baste again and garnish with a few tarragon sprigs.
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