Nigel Slater’s recipe for baked chicken with tomatoes and stock

The recipe
Lightly season 4 chicken legs. In a shallow-sided pan – I use one 30cm in diameter – warm 3 tbsp of oil, lower in the chicken, skin side down, with kitchen tongs, then leave to cook until the skin on the underside is crisp. Turn the legs over and lightly brown the other side.

Thickly slice 500g of courgettes. Peel and finely slice 2 large cloves of garlic. Remove the chicken from the pan and transfer to a roasting tin. Set the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Put the courgettes into the hot oil in the pan and cook for 5 or 6 minutes until they are lightly coloured, but still very firm. Then add the garlic and cook for a further 3 or 4 minutes until pale golden.

Transfer the courgettes to the roasting tin, pour 160ml of white vermouth, such as Noilly Prat, into the shallow pan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve any delicious sticky goo left behind by the chicken.

Halve 300g of small tomatoes and add them to the chicken and courgettes. Tuck several sprigs of rosemary between the chicken and vegetables.

Pour 750ml of chicken stock into the shallow pan and bring to the boil, season lightly, then pour over the chicken. Bake, uncovered, for about 45 minutes until the courgettes and chicken are tender. Serves 4

I use chicken legs for this – they have more flavour than chicken breasts – but there is no reason not to use those instead if you wish.

White vermouth is my go-to for this because it is always to hand, but a dry sherry would be good, too, or simply a splash of white wine.

Should you need to, this dish reheats well. Cover with foil and bake for about 20 minutes.

To make the best of the juices from the roasting tin, you will need to offer spoons, but you could also pass round a dish of wide noodles or perhaps some couscous, steamed and seasoned with chopped parsley – lots – and black pepper.