Using a spice mix like ras-el-hanout is a great kitchen shortcut – just sprinkle it over the vegetables and chicken in this easy traybake and you will be instantly transported to the souks of Morocco or Tunis without any effort at all. However, keep an eye on the sell-by date of ground spices – after a year or two they lose their potency, so don’t let them languish in the back of your cupboard for more than a decade and then expect them to taste of anything.
200g baby carrots
2 red onions, peeled and each cut into 8 slices
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp ras-el-hanout
200ml chicken stock
4 chicken breasts, skin on
1 x 400g tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 tbsp chopped coriander
lemon juice, to taste
30g pistachios, roughly chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Rose petals, to serve (optional)
1 Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/Gas 7.
2 Wash the baby carrots, cutting any larger ones in half lengthways. Place in a large roasting tray with the onions. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and sprinkle over 1 tablespoon of ras-el-hanout until evenly coated. Place in the oven for 10 minutes.
3 Pour the chicken stock into a small pan, place over a medium-high heat and bring to the boil. Put the couscous into a bowl with a little salt and pepper. Pour the hot stock over it, cover with cling film and set aside to absorb the liquid.
4 Score the chicken skin with a sharp knife, then season with salt and pepper and sprinkle over ½ tablespoon ras-el-hanout.
5 Cut each courgette into quarters lengthways and sprinkle with the remaining ½ tablespoon ras-el-hanout. Remove the tray from the oven and add the courgettes and chickpeas. Place the chicken breasts on top and drizzle with the remaining tablespoon olive oil. Add the water to the bottom of the pan and return to the oven on a high shelf for 15 minutes.
6 Meanwhile, uncover the couscous and fluff it up with a fork. Stir in the coriander, then add lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
7 Remove the roasting tray from the oven and sprinkle with pistachios and rose petals (if using). Bring to the table and serve straight from the pan.
Extracted from Quick & Delicious: 100 recipes in 30 minutes or less by Gordon Ramsey, published by Hodder and Stoughton, £25
Photography by Louise Hagger