With its lovely blackened crust, this chicken is delicious served with a generous bowl of seasoned thick Greek yoghurt with finely grated garlic and lots of fresh mint leaves stirred into it. A salad of watercress, red onion, pistachios and pomegranate seeds goes really well, as does a salad of Puy lentils, beetroot and wild rice
500g chicken breasts cut into chunky strips
2 tbsps. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, grated
2 generous tbsps. pomegranate molasses
Zest and juice of 1 orange
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. chilli purée (from a tube)
Oven 200c, 180c fan, gas 6
Put all the marinade ingredients into a bowl, stir together and add the chicken. Make sure it is thoroughly coated and leave in the fridge to absorb the flavours, preferably over night, or as long as you can.
To cook Thighs:
Put the thighs in a single layer into a snugly fitting roasting pan and pour over the marinade
Cook in the oven at 200c (see above) for 40-45 minutes; the thighs should probe 74c and the juices run clear
To cook Breasts:
Lift the breasts out of the marinade and transfer to a griddle pan or frying pan just slicked with a little oil, top side downwards first for around 6-8 minutes each side, until cooked through
To cook a spatchcocked or butterflied bird:
Transfer to a roasting pan, trickle over any remaining marinade and roast in the oven at 200c (see above) for approximately 40-45 minute until the bird is cooked through and the juices run clear.
The marinade will crust and blacken on the chicken very easily as you will see in my photograph. I love the extra flavour this gives, but if you want to avoid the dark colour, jut shake the marinade off the chicken before cooking.
Serve with: WATERCRESS, RED ONION, PISTACHIO AND POMEGRANATE SALAD:
Slice the red onion as thinly as possible (you could substitute spring onions but the pretty colour combination would be lost). Similarly, you could substitute a different nut, but the pink and green of pistachios seem perfect for this pretty dish.
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