Monday 26 September 2016

Roast Chicken with Tahini and Almonds

Published 15/05/2015 | 02:30

Roast chicken with tahini and almonds
Roast chicken with tahini and almonds
Grilled aubergine

I'm a firm believer in the flavour found in meat cooked on the bone. I find chicken legs so much more succulent and juicy than chicken breasts.

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Make sure you're buying Irish chicken, and do your best to source free-range or organic. It's my belief that the animals are treated more humanely and this makes the meat taste better to me.

If you don't fancy meat this week, try the meaty aubergine with our accompanying tahini sauce instead.

Roast Chicken with Tahini and Almonds

Serves 2

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 45 minutes

INGREDIENTS

4 chicken legs

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon chilli flakes

Pinch of salt

Crack of black pepper

1 lemon

1 bulb of garlic

For the tahini dressing

1 tablespoon of tahini

2 tablespoons yogurt

2 tablespoons of water

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

1 clove of garlic, finely grated

To serve

Flaked almonds, toasted

Freshly chopped mint

METHOD

1 Preheat the oven to 200c/180c fan/Gas Mark 6.

2 Put the chicken legs in a large roasting tray and drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle evenly with the cumin, chilli flakes, salt and pepper.

3 Slice the lemon in half and squeeze the juice of one half over the chicken. Place the lemon segments around the chicken. Cut the garlic bulb in half and place it around the chicken legs. Roast the chicken in the oven for 45 minutes, or until it's golden and cooked through. Be sure to baste with the cooking juices halfway through cooking time so that the meat doesn't dry out.

4 Make dressing by mixing together tahini, yogurt, water, lemon juice and grated garlic.

5 Arrange the chicken on a platter. Drizzle some dressing over the top and serve the rest on the side. Sprinkle with the toasted almonds and some mint. Couscous or a green salad would be lovely on the side.

Grilled Aubergine with Pomegranate and Tahini

Serves 2

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 large aubergine

2 tablespoons of olive oil, plus more for cooking

1 teaspoon of chilli flakes

Pinch of salt

Crack of black pepper

For the tahini dressing

1 tablespoon of tahini

2 tablespoons yogurt

2 tablespoons of water

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

1 clove of garlic, finely grated

To serve

2 tablespoons of crumbled feta

2 tablespoons of pomegranate

METHOD

1 Slice the aubergine into thin slices. Cut the slices in half if they're very long. Brush evenly with olive oil and sprinkle with chilli flakes, salt and pepper.

2 Heat a drizzle of olive oil on a griddle pan (if you don't have a griddle pan, a frying pan will do just fine. The griddle pan just makes the aubergine look nice).

3 Fry the aubergines in batches for five to 10 minutes on either side, or until cooked through. .

4 Make your tahini dressing by mixing together the tahini, yogurt, water, lemon juice and finely grated garlic.

5 Arrange the aubergine slices on a serving platter. Scatter the crumbled feta on top. Drizzle with the tahini sauce. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and finish with some freshly chopped mint.

This week's storecupboard essential:

Tahini Paste: Tahini is made from ground sesame seeds and is the essential ingredient in hummus. Available in most large supermarkets and specialist food shops, it has a long fridge life and works exceedingly well as an accompanying sauce to Middle Eastern-inspired suppers.

Irish Independent

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