You wouldn't know this lemon garlic chicken potato bake tray bake is Whole30 compliant! It's hearty, soulful, and comes together from start to dinner table in under an hour.
Peel and slice potatoes thinly into discs, about 1cm thick (1/4 inch). Season with salt and let water drain from them on a paper towel.
Meanwhile, heat frying oil in a shallow pan until a potato dropped into the oil sizzles. Fry potatoes for several minutes until just beginning to turn golden. Drain and set aside on a paper towel.
Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper.
On high heat, heat a skillet with 2 tbsp oil and sear chicken on both sides until beginning to turn golden. About a minute per side.
Preheat oven to 200 C / 180 C fan / 400 F.
Lightly grease your baking tray with cooking oil spray.
Line the bottom of your baking dish with the fried potato discs. Top with seared chicken.
Top chicken and potato with lemon slices, fresh thyme, basil, garlic halves, and garlic cloves.
Mix 1/4 cup chicken broth with lemon juice and pour over baking dish. Otherwise, add 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper to lemon juice and pour over baking dish.
Cover baking dish with aluminium foil and poke with a knife to vent excess steam.
Bake for 25 minutes, removing the foil for the last 10 minutes of baking.
If you don't want to flash fry the potatoes, simply season with salt and pepper, spray generously with cooking oil spray and bake in your baking dish at 200 C /180 C fan / 400 F until starting to turn golden.
To make with bone-in thighs, add an extra 5 minutes to the baking time. I don't recommend using chicken breast as it will most likely dry out.
You'll see I bake the tray for the first 15 minutes covered. This technique will infuse the chicken with more flavour. The last 10 minutes uncovered will crisp up the edges of the potatoes and give a nice browning to the lemons.
Don't chuck out the baked lemons and garlic! Turn them into thick gravy like sauce by blitzing them with a stick blender (lemon peels off). The sweetness of the cooked garlic does wonders to balance the sourness of the lemon. Add this gravy to a few dollops of mayonnaise for the ultimate dipping sauce which pairs wonderfully with this dish. Otherwise, go the convenient route and serve this with some kewpie mayonnaise.