Danielle Alvarez's chicken tray bake and buttery chicken paillard recipes

Light v dark meat: Chicken drumstick tray bake (left) and chicken breast paillard.
Light v dark meat: Chicken drumstick tray bake (left) and chicken breast paillard. Photo: William Meppem

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In the red corner we've got the dark meat: chicken thighs with fennel lemon and tomato, and in the blue: chicken breast with garlic, sage and capers. Which one will win? I love them both, and I hope you do too.

Chicken thigh bake with garlic, fennel and tomato

Give your stovetop the night off; this oven bake is an easy way to get flavoursome chicken thighs (or drumsticks) on the table.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1kg Lilydale chicken thighs, bone-in and skin-on (or drumsticks)
  • 150g plain flour

Herb and garlic butter

  • 50g butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely grated (I used a Microplane)
  • 10g parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • zest of ½ lemon

To assemble

  • 3 eschalots (French shallots), peeled and cut in half
  • 1 small head of fennel, cut into wedges
  • 1 punnet cherry tomatoes
  • 1 lemon, sliced into rounds
  • 100ml dry vermouth
  • pinch of dried thyme
  • olive oil

METHOD

  1. Preheat your oven to 170C fan-forced (190C conventional).
  2. Combine the garlic butter ingredients in a small bowl. Season with salt and mash together with a fork. Gently lift the skin from each chicken thigh and place an equal amount of the butter under the skin, then replace the skin. Sprinkle the chicken thighs with salt on both sides and leave them, uncovered, in the fridge until you are ready to cook (ideally at least 30 minutes).
  3. Place the flour onto a tray or plate and when ready to cook, remove the chicken from the fridge and toss it in the flour to just coat it. Try to shake off any excess flour, you just want the bare minimum. Place it into your baking tray, butter facing upwards, then add the remaining ingredients to the tray with the chicken, spreading them around. Finally, drizzle the top with some olive oil, splash over the vermouth and give it a good pinch each of salt and thyme.
  4. Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour. Halfway through cooking, baste the chicken once with any juices that have formed in the pan. Remove from the oven and allow it to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 3-4

Chicken paillard with sage, garlic and brown butter

The buttery goodness of this one-pan chicken dish will ensure it becomes a dinner favourite.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Lilydale boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • ½ cup plain flour
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp rinsed capers (in brine), roughly chopped
  • 50g butter
  • 8 garlic cloves, smashed but kept in the skin
  • ½ bunch of sage, leaves picked
  • juice and zest of ½ a lemon
  • 100ml chicken stock
  • salt and black pepper

METHOD

  1. Butterfly the chicken breasts and place them in between two sheets of baking paper. Use a rolling pin to bash the chicken until it is about 3-4mm thick. Remove the paper and season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Dump the flour onto a plate or tray and dredge the chicken in the flour.
  2. Set a wide flat skillet over high heat and add the olive oil. When the pan is hot, add the chicken and cook for 1-2 minutes per side, until it is slightly golden. Remove the chicken from the pan and reduce heat to medium.
  3. To make the sauce, add the butter and garlic to the same pan. When the butter has browned, add in the capers and sage and fry them for 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock and scrape the bottom of the pan. Add the lemon zest and juice and reduce the sauce by half. Return the chicken to the pan, coat it in the sauce and cook for a further 30 seconds to 1 minute just to heat through. Serve immediately.

Serves 2

For nearly 20 years, passionate Lilydale farmers have been perfecting free range farming based on one simple belief: chicken that's raised better, tastes better. Today, our commitment to quality and to the welfare of our chickens is what sets us apart.

We work hard to raise Australia's favourite free range chicken. But that kind of devotion makes all the difference.

From our farm to your plate. Where the finest ingredients transform into memorable dishes.

Lilydale. Dedication you can taste.

These recipes are from episode eight of Good Food's new TV show, Good Food Kitchen, screening on Channel 9 at 1pm on Saturday, October 30, or catch up on 9Now.