You have to give it to this guy. He is so clever.
And this dish is just that. Like, screw you clever. Like, why didn’t I bloody think of that clever.
Like one-pot-pasta clever, though cleverer than the first batch of one-pot-pastas we were all inundated with five years back.
It’s the simplicity. The rusticity. And the various textures of the spaghetti, from soft to crunchy: the caramelised chicken.
And it is fun to dish and eat.
Screw you clever.
It is a weeknight meal though served on a Saturday night with friends, it would absolutely not look out of place.
It is just that fun… and good.
2 tbsp olive oil
1kg skin-on chicken thighs (4-6)
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1 large yellow onion, cut into 1cm dice
3 tbsp tomato paste
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
2 c boiling water
230gm spaghetti, broken into thirds
1/3 c lightly packed finely grated Parmesan
3 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 c finely chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
- Heat the oven to 220c.
- Add 1 tbsp oil to a large, ovenproof lidded skillet and heat over high. Season the chicken with 3/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper, then add to the hot oil, skin down. Cook for 7 minutes, without turning, to brown well.
- Turn down to medium-high, stir in the onion and turn over the chicken; cook for 5 minutes until the onion has softened and is slightly browned. Add the tomato paste, garlic and 1 tbsp thyme and cook, stirring the paste into the onions for 2 minutes or until fragrant and all browned.
- Add the boiling water, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper, then add the spaghetti, stirring to submerge and evenly distribute. Lift the chicken pieces so that sit on top of the spaghetti, skin side up. Bring to a simmer, cover with a lid and transfer to the oven for 30 minutes.
- In a small bowl, mix together the Parmesan, breadcrumbs, parsley, lemon zest and remaining thyme.
- After the pasta has baked for 30 minutes, remove from the oven and turn the oven to its highest setting and get the grill on. Sprinkle the Parmesan mixture evenly over the chicken, drizzle with the remaining oil and grill for a few minutes until nicely browned and crisp. Set aside for a few minutes and serve straight from the pan.