Things I have been cooking lately #161: Chicken and pancetta tray bake

I have already made this tray bake twice because it was so easy and delicious, once for Mr O and I and then once for a pot luck Sunday lunch at N’s new house now that he has moved out of our flat. While it does take a little bit of time to make, actually throwing it together is really quick and the flavour is completely worth the wait.


Chicken and pancetta tray bake

Adapted from

8 chicken drumsticks
300g mini potatoes (like baby potatoes but even smaller – or just get the baby potatoes and cut any large ones in half)
250g baby plum tomatoes
1 bulb of garlic
2 handfuls of pitted black olives
1 fresh red chilli, chopped
A handful of fresh basil leaves
8 rashers of pancetta
Olive oil

Preheat your oven to 180 C. Break down the garlic bulb into cloves.

Place the drumsticks, potatoes, tomatoes, unpeeled garlic, olives, chilli and basil in a large roasting try big enough to place the chicken in a single layer.

Drizzle with olive oil and then season well with salt and pepper and toss everything together. Then reposition the chicken on top. Place the roasting tray in the oven and back for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes turn the chicken and place back in the oven for a further 30 minutes.

Then drape the pancetta over the top of the chicken and roast for a final fifteen minutes or until the pancetta is crispy.

Serves 4


    1. I have just eaten some of the leftovers I had in my fridge for my lunch and it was really good even a few days on.

  1. I was just thinking this morning what to do with my chicken tenders for dinner. Now that it’s hot here, I don’t dare have the oven on for an hour. Maybe some of your ingredients turned into kabobs on the grill.

    1. I think that would be a great idea for combining those flavours in a different way. You could even marinate the chicken in the chilli, oil, garlic and basil for a couple of hours before making the kabobs.

    1. I will definitely make it again.

  2. God that looks soooooo good. Again though I don’t think I could get all those ingredients, I’d have to find a speciality shop or something

    1. Which ones are you struggling with because I could probably offer some simple substitution suggestions. e.g. thinly cut streaky bacon for pancetta.

      1. yeah pancetta was one… though I mostly avoid meat. I’m not a strict vegetarian but I rarely eat meat, chicken occasionally…. when my mum cooks it for me and brings over some of it frozen, ha! I’m such a mummy’s boy 😛

        basil leaves and black olives I’ll have to look for…. I’ve never looked so I hope I can find them. I really need to LEARN HOW TO COOK!!! Hehe, making super-fruit smoothies isn’t exactly cooking ;P

        1. You could probably leave the pancetta/bacon out if you would prefer not to have it. Basil is probably one of the most common herbs you can get so check the fresh produce aisle in your grocery story. Black olives are also pretty common. They usually come in a jar in the tinned vegetable aisle or with things like pickles. I think learning to cook is a skill that is essential for a good life. Making your own food from scratch is so much healthier and you always know what you’re eating.

          1. yeah, I’m crazy about fruit/greens/seeds smoothies, I just chuck in everything that is around, bok choi, broccoli, baby spinach, five bananas, a bunch of frozen berries, watermelon, mango… they are yummy 😀

            But yeah, I need to learn to properly cook. I’m almost 30 ffs!

            1. A man cannot live by juice alone!

              1. hahaha! Indeed, indeed.

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