Cooked in one dish on the oven this no-fuss, easy oven baked chicken and rice is quick to prepare and can be left to itself to cook. Ras el hanout spices give the flavour a North African influence which can easily be changed to give the dish a different flavour profile.
Preheat the oven to 190℃ (170℃ fan)/375°F/gas mark 5. Place 225g (8oz) rice in a sieve and rinse under running cold water until the water runs clear. Place in a large shallow oven-proof baking dish.
Add 1 chopped onion, 1 diced aubergine, 1 red pepper cut into chunks, 4 cloves crushed garlic, 25g (1oz) chopped prunes and 25g (1oz) chopped dried apricots. Sprinkle with 1- 2tbsp ras el hanout and toss to combine, then spread level in dish.
Pour in 600ml (1pt) hot chicken stock.
Place 4 chicken legs and 4 chicken thighs on top and drizzle with 1-2 tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the rice is tender.
Serve and enjoy.
It is important the stock is hot when added to this dish.
The chicken portions can be skinned if preferred. Use less olive oil if cooking with the skin on.
Do not use risotto or paella rice as this cooks completely differently in the oven and you will not get the desired results.
Variations:The flavours of the dish have North African influence and I like the sweetness that the prunes and apricots (which are a popular addition in Moroccan dishes) bring but they can be omitted if preferred.Give the dish a more Italian flavour by using mixed herbs and a small pinch of chilli, instead of the ras el hangout. Leave out the fruit and add some cherry tomatoes instead.For more of an Indian flavour use curry powder instead of the ras el hanout and omit the fruit.Or really spice it up with some cajun or fajita spice mix instead of the ras el hanout.