Much as I love to have a pan bubbling away on the stove, I often feel that the most stress-free way to feed people is by taking the oven route. When I'm frazzled, I firmly believe that a "tray-bake" is the safest way to go. Enjoy the easefulness of the oven: you just throw everything in, and you're done. I think I'd go to the supreme effort of laying on a green salad as well but, other than that, you may kick up your flamenco heels and enjoy the fiesta.
- 2 tablespoons regular olive oil
- 12 chicken thighs (bone in, with skin)
- 1 3/4 pounds chorizo sausages, whole if baby ones, or cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks if regular-sized
- 1 1/4 pounds baby white-skinned potatoes, halved
- 2 red onions, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 orange
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Put the oil in the bottom of 2 shallow roasting pans or quarter sheet pans, 1 tablespoon in each. Rub the skin of the chicken in the oil, then turn skin side up and put 6 pieces in each pan.
Divide the chorizo sausages and the baby potatoes between the 2 pans. Sprinkle with the onion and the oregano, then grate the orange zest over the contents of the 2 pans.
Bake for 1 hour, but after 30 minutes, swap the top pan with the bottom pan in the oven and baste the contents with the orange-colored juices. Transfer the chicken mixture to a large serving platter and serve.
Making Leftovers Right
You can reheat what remains (removing the bones from the chicken first) within 2 days, maybe with some canned diced tomatoes, sherry, and orange juice, but my absolute favorite final destination for this dish is a quesadilla. When I was last in Kansas City, that shining city of lights, I breakfasted on a chicken, pepper jack, and potato quesadilla (as one does) and it inspired me. So, just get as many soft flour tortillas as your leftovers command, take the bones out of the chicken, dice the meat along with the chorizo and potatoes, and stir in some diced, shredded, or grated cheese (Cheddar, mozzarella, Monterey Jack, all are possible), dollop some of the mixture into each tortilla, fold, then griddle or fry. Make sure the chicken is piping hot. And do see p.433 for more in-depth instruction. This makes for a splendid hangover-banishing breakfast or near-instant dinner, the sort you chow down on while watching something compellingly bad on TV.