Chicken, Olive and Tomato Traybake with Herb Dressing

Who doesn’t love a Traybake?  Particularly one which has chunky, crispy garlic croutons, intense and lush tomatoes and pops of salty black olives – and I have even mentioned the juicy but crisp skinned chicken and is dotted with a basil and parsley oil.  All the flavours of the Mediterranean but in a Traybake.  Easy enough for a weeknight but special enough for a kitchen supper with friends


My tomatoes in the greenhouse are on their last hurrah and so I’ve used some of the last of them in this dish before I turn the remainder into chutney but shop bought will do as well as the roasting intensifies the flavour.

I love how this recipe uses bread – be it the remains of a sourdough loaf or ciabatta as it is a great way of using up bread that’s just past it’s best.  You must used a “textured” loaf for this as sliced supermarket bread hasn’t got the body to stay intact when rolled in the tomato and chicken juices.   The crunchy, toasty-ness that it brings to the dish is the savoury equivalent of dunking a biscuit in a cup of tea.  Quite wonderful and quite addictive.

I would recommend chicken thighs for this because they stay moist and don’t dry out but, if you really only eat chicken breast you can use it – just make sure it has the skin on and that you baste the meat more frequently.

The herb dressing is more of a paste really being the consistency of pesto.  Any leftovers are great on pasta, to liven up a sandwich filling or swirled into soup.

Ingredients (serves 4-6)

For the Traybake

  • 4-6 skin on, bone in chicken thighs
  • 6 large beefsteak tomatoes, cut into rough chunks
  • 2tbsp small capers, drained
  • 12-15 black olives
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • leaves from 6 thyme sprigs it 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 1tsp chilli flakes (optional)
  • salt and pepper
  • 150g (approx) sourdough or ciabatta, torn into chunks

For the herb dressing

  • bunch of basil (a large handful)
  • bunch of flat leaf parsley (a large handful)
  • 4 anchovies (optional)
  • 2tsp capers
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 8 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp wine vinegar



  1. Heat oven to 180c
  2. On a large baking tray place chicken, olives, capers, tomatoes, garlic and thyme.
  3. Drizzle over 4tbsp oil and season.  Toss together so everything gets a coating and the spread mixture out on tray in a single layer
  4. Roast for 10 mins before adding chunks of bread and remaking oil.
  5. Toss as before returning tray to oven for a further 30-40 mins (tossing once half way through) until chicken is cooked and bread toasty.
  6. In the meantime put all the ingredients for the herb dressing in a food processor and blitz till a pesto like texture is achieved.  Check seasoning and adjust accordingly
  7. Serve Traybake and herb dressing together. Add a salad if you feel like it or eat just as is






  1. Hi Rosie– first off- those tomatoes are absolutely gorgeous!! You are such a gardener! And this looks so warming and delicious– love the savory (almost pesto) sauce. And I agree about using thighs– moister and richer flavor. Are you into autumn there?? We are finally cooling here and I made a big pot of bean soup for dinner last night. Love the change! hugs hugs!

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