Chicken Paprika with Gentle Spices
This packs a sublime flavour punch, although it is perhaps not much of a looker. My hand is usually quite heavy with the ginger because it becomes pleasingly caramelised; indeed it catches and crusts in a way I find irresistible. The chicken is great hot, of course, but it is also lovely cold, particularly when served with lots of the yoghurt (see below). I understand all the dishes on Masterchef are at room temperature when they are judged and of course it is true, any main course has probably dropped to room temperature by the time you finish eating it and it is hardly noticeable. Get artful with drizzling the yoghurt and this chicken is beautiful in every way.
6 boneless and skinless chicken thigh fillets (or breasts would be fine)
2 tbsps. olive oil
2 tbsps. low salt soy sauce (I use Kikkoman Tamari)
1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 generous tsp. ground cumin
2 tsps. paprika
Good glug seedy sweet chilli dipping sauce
Generous large fat thumb root ginger, peeled and grated
1 tsp. red chilli paste (from a tube), or to taste
Full fat Greek yoghurt with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lime juice added and seedy sweet chilli dipping sauce.
Sprinkle with paprika
Use kitchen scissors to trim away any fat or nasty bits on the chicken and flatten any very thick pieces by bashing (with care) using something heavy
Put the marinade ingredients into a bowl large enough to hold the chicken and stir together
Add the chicken to the marinade making sure every bit of it is well covered. Leave to absorb the flavours for an hour or so if you can - even better, over night.
Remove the chicken from the marinade but do not shake off the tasty paste • Heat a griddle pan or frying pan and cook the chicken for 5 or 6 minutes per side, pressing it down with a fish slice if necessary. The chicken should probe 74c when cooked.
Loosely cover the pan with foil and a tea towel and leave to rest for 5 minutes or so before serving.
Season the yoghurt with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lime juice then swirl the sweet chilli dipping sauce through it (stop stirring before the swirls disappear because they look pretty) and sprinkle with paprika
You can of course use chicken breasts instead of thigh fillets for this, but be careful because chicken breast becomes dry so much more easily than thigh.
Snipping nicks round the edge of the thigh flesh with scissors prevents the thighs from curling, but this is usually only necessary if the thighs are particularly large
Chicken paprika drizzled with yoghurt and sprinkled with more paprika looks lovely on a large platter. If you wish to add something green, flat leaf parsley or fresh coriander for example, try to keep your knife away! Herbs like this look much more 2020 chic strewn whole, complete with stalks
The chicken (covered) will keep for up to three days in the fridge after cooking.
Chicken Paprika is excellent on a barbecue
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