As I’m sure you can appreciate by now, Adam and I love to be adventurous in the kitchen, trying out new recipes, working out different flavours to try with ingredients we already know and love. On Saturday night we headed to Winchester for some friend’s house warming party, one of whom is a fantastic cook. Well, you’d probably describe him more as a chef (especially as he was actually competing on this year’s Masterchef!!). His instagram is mouthwatering and so inventive with food, so I was seriously excited to try some of his culinary delights. Needless to say, we weren’t disappointed!!
However, come Sunday, feeling hungry and hungover, neither Adam or I felt particularly inspired, and instead decided to have a search online for a tasty (and simple) treat for tea. I was at this point that I remembered from working with Hello Fresh previously, they have a nifty tool to help out exactly this – the flavour generator. We put in our preferences for Middle Eastern & Tangy recipes, and up popped a really tasty looking dish that we actually had all of the ingredients for in the fridge!
Well, other than Chermoula spice, which I’ve never cooked with before, but after some quick googling realised it was a simple enough mix of herbs and spices that we already had, and could mix with yogurt to make this tasty tangy spicy marinade to coat the chicken. Plus, as it’s a recipe using chicken thighs rather than breast, 4 chicken thighs only cost us £1.49 – so all in all I reckon it was easily two meals for less than a fiver!
I’d recommend marinading the chicken ahead of time (we took the opportunity for a cold drink in the sun and dipped some carrot sticks in homemade houmous whilst we waited) and then once the chermoula has had time to soak in, it’s a really simple and quick recipe to throw together. We found the hardest bit was deciding whether to splatter the lemony yogurt over the top (me) or spoon it neatly on the side (Adam) – surprise surprise!
Chermoula and Yogurt Marinated Chicken with Zesty Courgette Pilaf
FYI Chermoula spice contains cumin, paprika, turmeric, lemon juice, coriander seeds, cayenne pepper, onion granules, garlic, salt and pepper…I just mashed mine up in a pestle and mortar before mixing it with the yogurt!
Method (taken from the Hello Fresh Recipe here)
1.Your first job is to marinate the chicken in chermoula. The longer the better is the rule with marinating! In a bowl, mix the chicken with the chermoula spice mix, half the yogurt, 1/4 tsp of salt and a good grind of pepper. Make sure the chicken is well coated and put back in the fridge.
2. Peel and cut the onion in half through the root and chop half into small chunks (½cm is ideal!). Chop the top and bottom off the courgette and cut in half lengthways. Cut each half into three long strips and then chop at 1cm intervals to create small chunks. Peel the garlic and chop finely (use a garlic press if you have one!). Tear off the leaves from the coriander and chop the stalks as small as you can. Keep the leaves for later.
3. Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add 1 tbsp of oil. Cook the onion for 5 mins or until softened. Add the chopped garlic,coriander stalks and the courgette. Season with ¼ tsp of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Stir in the basmati rice and make sure the rice is coated with all the flavours in the pan.
4. Pour in 350ml of cold water with the chicken stock pot and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer, put a lid on the pan and cook for 10 mins. Finish the rice dish by removing the pan from the heat (lid still on!) and leave to continue cooking in its own steam, for a further 10 mins.
5. As the rice cooks, pre-heat your grill to its highest setting. Put the chicken on a baking tray and cook it for 15 mins. Tip:You want the yogurt marinade to scorch, so don’t be tempted to turn the grill down. It’s all about flavour! Turn the chicken after 7 mins and cook for another 7 mins or until the centre is no longer pink.
6. Chop the coriander leaves and zest and juice half the lemon whilst the rice and chicken do their thing. Mix the lemon zest through the remaining yogurt and keep to one side.
7. Once the rice is ready, stir in the coriander leaves and half the lemon juice. Taste and add more salt if needed and more lemon if you feel it needs a bit more zing!
8. Cut the chicken into ½cm strips and serve on top of a bed of rice. Finish with dollops of the lemony yogurt and enjoy!