Even though there’s meat here, this is a very ‘vegetable forward’ main from Diana Henry. Any leftover veg are lovely the next day.
- CourseMain meal
- Prepare20 mins
- Cook55 mins
- Total time1 hr 15 mins
The day before you cook, marinate the chicken and prepare the artichokes. Make small slits in the chicken thighs and put in a dish with the remaining ingredients. Turn the meat over to coat and push the marinade into the slits. Cover and chill overnight.
Tip the artichokes into a sieve and leave to drain thoroughly. Transfer to a bowl or jar and add enough olive oil to cover, plus the remaining ingredients and some crushed black pepper. Cover and chill overnight.
Preheat the oven to 200ºC, gas mark 6. Drain the artichokes and put them and the plum tomatoes into a roasting tin big enough to hold them both in a single layer. Add the white balsamic vinegar, 1½ tbsp olive oil and season. Toss with your hands, then sprinkle a little sugar on top of each tomato.
Trim the tips of the fennel bulbs – reserving any little fronds – and remove any tough and discoloured outer leaves. Trim the base neatly. Cut the fennel into quarters, lengthways, then into slices, about 2cm thick at the thickest part. Gently toss in with the lemon juice in a bowl, trying to keep the slices intact.
Cut the onions into wedges about 1.5cm thick at the thickest part. Put the fennel and onion into a separate roasting tin that will hold everything in a single layer. Season and add the lemon thyme and the remaining 1½ tbsp oil. Tightly cover the tin with foil.
Put both roasting tins in the oven and cook for 35 minutes, turning the artichokes after 20 minutes and the fennel and onion after 25 minutes. (Remove the foil from the fennel tin for the final 10 minutes.)
Transfer the vegetables to a big serving platter and add any reserved fennel fronds. If the juices in the roasting tins are reduced and dark, drizzle these over the platter, but don’t add lots of juices that will swamp the dish with liquid. This dish is fine at room temperature, though if you prefer to serve it hot, cook the chicken while the vegetables are roasting.
Heat a griddle pan until hot. Cook the chicken, skin-side down, in batches if necessary. Discard the remaining marinade, if any. Season and cook for 2 minutes, then turn over and cook for another 2 minutes on the other side. Turn the heat down and cook for a further 5-6 minutes, turning occasionally, until the chicken is thoroughly cooked the juices run clear and there is no pink meat. Cover with foil and keep warm while you cook the rest. Serve the chicken with the vegetables and lemon wedges for squeezing over.