Chicken and Chorizo Traybake

If there was a competition for the easiest lunch recipe, my tray-bake would take away the trophy hands down.
Sight of the chicken sizzling in the tray, soaking itself in the luscious red juices of the chorizo, is something to behold. I keep peeping into the oven all the time. Bad habit, I know. But the aromas that fill the kitchen are so unbelievably hypnotic, you just can’t leave.
This is one rustic dish I love.  No precision slicing or chopping or even the measurements. Just being sloppy throughout. At the end, there’s always a fight for who’ll mop up the leftovers in the tray. I always win. And so should you.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Serves: 4-5

Ingredients:
500 gms Chicken breasts. You can also use the thighs or the drumsticks
25 beads of chorizo sausages. Remove the casing
2 medium size onions, roughly sliced
2 potatoes with skin, roughly cut into wedges
4 cloves of garlic, left whole
2 tsps lemon juice
Zest of one lemon
1/2 tsp black pepper, crushed or powder
2 tbsps olive oil or any cooking oil
Salt to taste

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
2. Marinate chicken in lemon juice, pepper and salt (you can also skip this step altogether and start off directly with the bake. I’ve tried both ways and it tastes equally good).
2. Put oil in the baking tray. Sit the chicken pieces inside while rubbing them roughly with oil, so they don’t go dry while baking.
3. Make space for the chorizo, potato wedges and onion slices. Toss in the garlic and grate the lemon zest straight over the contents. Sprinkle in some salt and pepper.
4. Cook for 40 minutes or until done.

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Spicy Kerala Chicken Curry

I came across this recipe while scouring the YouTube for Chicken curries cooked the Kerala way. The video was shot entirely in Malayalam (predominant language spoken in Kerala) and I am Malayalam-illiterate. But one look at the process and I was already drooling.
It tastes mind-blowing more than it looks; not to forget the super-easy part.
spicy-kerala-chicken-curryPreparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
For curry:

500 gm chicken
3 medium size onions, sliced
2 tbsp ginger, finely chopped
10-12 cloves of garlic. Leave them whole
2 green chilies, slit (those thin, dark ones are really hot. So use accordingly)
1 medium size tomato, sliced
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tbsp coriander powder
2 tbsp red chili powder (Alter as per your spice-tolerance level)
1 tsp black pepper powder
1/2 tsp fennel seeds powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
3 – 4 tbsp coconut oil
Salt as per taste
1/2 to 1 cup water, as per the desired thickness

For tempering:
1 tbsp coconut oil
3/4 tsp mustard seeds
3 dried red chilies, broken
2 green chilies, slit
8-9 curry leaves

Method:
For Curry:
1. Heat oil in a kadhai or a heavy bottomed pan.
2. Add onions, chilies, ginger and garlic. Fry till soft and translucent.
3. Add all the spice powders and saute for one minute.
4. Toss in the tomatoes and fry till soft.
5. Now add water, sprinkle salt and bring it to boil. Now reduce the flame and let it simmer for 3-4 minutes, until the mixture turns into a thick gravy.
6. Slowly tumble in the chicken pieces. Stir, so they are all coated in the gravy.
7. Let the curry simmer for around 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is tender and cooked.

For tempering:
1. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a separate pan.
2. Add mustard seeds and let them splutter.
3. Now add the curry leaves, green and red chilies and fry on slow flame for a bit. Red chilies tend to burn soon. So take care here.

Now add this tempered mixture to the simmering curry and cook for another 3-4 minutes till the curry is flavored.
Serve with steamed rice and a wedge of lime.

P.S.: *You will also enjoy it with Appams – Kerala style pancakes made with fermented rice batter and coconut milk.
In Sri Lanka, they are known as Hoppers.
*Coconut oil is the stellar ingredient here. All the flavor that the curry has, is because of the coconut oil. Do not use any other oil for this recipe except this one. 
*Do not add too much of water in Step 5. You don’t want a really runny curry.
More water can always be added in Step 7. This way you get your desired consistency and also save your curry.
* Alter the amount of green chilies and chili powder as per you tolerance level.