Recipe: Bengali Roast Chicken Tray Bake
Familiar comfort food with an Indian-twist, this tray bake makes a great weeknight meal or Sunday supper. It’s gluten-free and easily adaptable for vegetarian, vegan, or pescatarian palates.
For tray bake:
- 4 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
- 2 Tbsp. Bengal Bay (Panch Phoron)
- 1 (3-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled & grated
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 1/2 tsp. Ground Coriander Seeds
- 2 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
- 1 1/4 cups plain yogurt
- 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled, large dice
- 1 red onion, large dice
- 1 fennel bulb, large dice
- 1 poblano chile, deseeded, large dice
- 1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, drained
For yogurt sauce:
- 3/4 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 tsp. Ground Coriander Seeds
- Grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
This recipe is featured in Spice Club, Savory’s spice of the month club.
Here are substitution suggestions for adapting the recipe to different palates.
Gluten-free: No substitutions needed.
Vegetarian: Replace chicken thighs with portobello mushroom caps. Reserve a quarter or so of the marinade to marinate fragile mushroom caps in a separate bag from the squash. Mushrooms will roast in about 30 min., so start roasting the tray of squash and add mushroom caps after 15 min., turning caps over once or twice while roasting.
Vegan: Follow vegetarian substitutions and use a non-dairy yogurt for marinade and sauce.
Pescatarian: Use a firm white fish like halibut in place of chicken; use about a 2¼ lbs. whole filet or 6 (6 oz.) fish pieces. Reserve a quarter or so of the marinade to marinate fragile fish filets in a separate bag from the squash. Fish should be marinated no longer than 2 hours. Fish will cook through in about 10 to 20 min. depending on type and thickness. Start roasting the tray of squash and add fish after 20 to 30 min.
For tray bake: Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add Bengal Bay and stir for 30 seconds. Add ginger, garlic, coriander, and salt; cook for 2 min., stirring constantly. Remove skillet from heat and add yogurt, stirring to loosen browned bits in pan. Transfer mixture to a gallon size zip top bag. Trim any excess skin from chicken thighs. Add thighs to bag and coat in marinade. Add squash and distribute marinade. Seal and refrigerate for 2 hours or up to overnight.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees and line a large baking sheet with foil. Toss onion, fennel, chile, and marinated squash together on the sheet and drizzle with 1 Tbsp. oil. Nestle marinated chicken on top of veggies, skin-side facing up. Roast for a total of 45 min., turning chicken over every 15 min. For the last 15 min., with skin-side facing up, drizzle chicken with remaining 1 Tbsp. oil and scatter the chickpeas among the veggies. Tray bake is done when veggies are fork tender and chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees on a meat thermometer. Remove from oven and sprinkle with additional salt to taste. Serve warm with yogurt sauce.
For yogurt sauce: Mix all ingredients together and chill until ready to serve.
Pairs well with Chai Spiced Apples for dessert. Enjoy any leftovers cold in a wrap with a generous dollop of the yogurt sauce.