One of the easiest, healthy main courses to cook is a tray baked chicken with vegetables you know will be kind to your sensitive gut. Think a little bit of fennel, a few green beans, some gently roasted red pepper strips and some delicious cherry tomatoes.
Lean meat, like chicken, should not trigger symptoms in a sensitive gut provided it is not served with a high fat food and you leave out onions.
The joy of a dish like this is that the flavours mingle as the chicken cooks and it releases its juices into the mix. I would season the dish well not only with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper but with some gorgeous fragrant chicken loving herbs such as tarragon, dill, basil, rosemary or parsley.
To serve I would recommend a few boiled new season potatoes or some polenta which could be served either wet or set – fried or toasted as chips.
Most meat eaters would be delighted with the colour, flavour and taste of this dish which takes about 15 minutes to prepare and then left to do its own thing in a hot oven for between 50 minutes and an hour while you relax and unwind after a busy day.
Preparation time 15 minutes
Cooking time 50 minutes to 1 hour
- 16 cherry tomatoes
- 1 red pepper, seeds removed
- 1 small bulb fennel, trimmed cut in eighths lengthways
- 4 large skinless, boneless free-range chicken thighs
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 tbsp garlic infused olive oil
- 2 tbsps balsamic vinegar
- 225g/8 oz green beans
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp chopped herbs such as tarragon, dill, basil or parsley
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4
Place the tomatoes in a large roasting tray roughly 25 cm x 30 cm or (10 in x 12 in). Cut the peppers into thin strips and add them to the baking tray together with the chicken thighs. Add the chopped fennel and mix with the other ingredients.
Sprinkle the paprika, garlic oil, balsamic vinegar and a good pinch of salt and pepper over the chicken. Toss all the ingredients together and then spread the chicken thighs across the tray.
Place the chicken and vegetables in the oven for an hour.
About half way through the cooking time baste the chicken and steam the green beans for 5 minutes.
Five minutes before you are due to serve the chicken add the steamed green beans and baste them with a little of the cooking juices. Return the roasting tray to the oven for the beans to warm through and the chicken to finish cooking.
Serve the tray bake chicken with a sprinkling of fresh herbs and some garlic infused oil if you have it.