Middle Eastern Braised Chicken Tray Bake

Serves  4
Preparation   25 mins
Cooking   40 mins
Print recipe

For an impressive meal, with succulent chicken braised in the oven, this one pot wonder is bursting with the flavours of the Middle East.


  • 1 kg Lilydale Chicken thigh fillets
  • 2 teaspoon ground fennel
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 60 ml olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, sliced
  • 1 celery stick, sliced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon harissa
  • pinch saffron
  • 400g pumpkin, cut in 2cm dice 
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and cut into 2cm pieces
  • 750ml chicken stock
  • ½ cup pearl barley
  • ½ cup natural yoghurt
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1-2 tablespoons Aleppo pepper (or use chilli flakes)
  • ½ cup fresh coriander and mint leaves, picked


  1. Preheat oven to 180C fan forced.
  2. Mix fennel and cumin with 1 tablespoon of oil in a shallow bowl. Add the chicken pieces and toss to coat.
  3. Heat a large ovenproof deep sided casserole dish over a medium high heat. Add chicken and cook until browned. Remove and set aside.
  4. Add remaining oil to pan, then add onion, celery, carrot and leek. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic, cinnamon, harissa and saffron and cook for a further minute. Add pumpkin and parsnip and toss to coat.
  6. Carefully pour in the chicken stock, bring to the boil, then add the pearl barley. Nestle the chicken pieces into the dish and place in the oven. Cook for 40 minutes, until the barley and vegetables are tender. Remove from oven.
  7. Mix the yoghurt, lemon juice and zest together in a small bowl. Drizzle over the chicken, sprinkle with Aleppo pepper, coriander and mint leaves and serve.

Middle Eastern Braised Chicken Tray Bake

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