On Wednesday, it was my turn to host girls' night. I made two tray bakes — my new favourite chicken recipe, roasted balsamic chicken, and my own recipe for assorted roasted vegetables that's also flavoured with balsamic vinegar.
Both are really easy dishes to make. I marinated the chicken the night before so it had 24 hours to soak up flavour. I just took it out of the fridge, put it in a tray and put the whole lot in the oven 45 minutes before we ate.
The key with the roasted vegetable tray bake is to keep the pieces nice and large, and wherever possible, the same size and shape. I also gave the veggies a 15-minute head start alone in the oven before I put in the chicken.
Roasted Vegetable Tray Bake
baby new potatoes
one finger chilli pepper (long, slender, red cayenne pepper)
salt and pepper to taste
fresh whole oregano sprigs
Wash all of the vegetables. Use as many of each as you want or have.
Make the veggie pieces approximately the same size. Keep the baby potatoes whole, or halve them if they are on the big side. Snap the woody stalks off the bottoms of the asparagus spears and keep them long and whole. Cut the roma tomatoes in half. Cut the red pepper into large pieces (about three inches or so). Cut the vidalia onion in half, and cut each half into eighths or largish chunks (there should be many layers of onion per chunk). Make a slit in the chilli pepper and scrape out the seeds while keeping it whole. Mince the garlic.
Cook the new potatoes and the asparagus spears for a couple of minutes in the microwave to give them a head start.
Put all of the veggies into a large roasting pan with high sides. Toss them together with olive oil, salt, pepper, fresh oregano sprigs, and two or three splashes of balsamic vinegar. Make sure each veggie is coated.
Roast in a 400 F (200 C) oven for one hour. Halfway through, pull the tray out of the oven and toss the veggies around a bit. Before serving, remove the chilli pepper and the wilted oregano springs.
It was a dinner enjoyed by all, including Squeaky's chihuahua who always appreciates the efforts of his foodie friends :)