This Middle Eastern spiced-chicken dish is perfectly balanced with green beans, cucumber and seeds on parsnip purée, and combined with a fresh pomegranate salsa. It’s jam-packed with proteins, plus a hearty dose of antioxidants, fibre, vitamins and minerals.
• 800g chicken thigh
• 2 tbsp baharat spice (or mix equal parts ground coriander, cardamom, cumin, cinnamon and paprika)
• 4 cloves garlic
• 1 cup (250 ml) chicken stock
• 200g green beans, topped and trimmed
• 2 medium parsnips, diced
• 1 pomegranate
• ½ cucumber, 5mm diced
• 1 wedge preserved lemon or lime, pith removed and finely diced
• 1 tbsp pistachios, lightly toasted and roughly chopped
• ½ tbsp each sunflower and sesame seeds, lightly toasted
• ½ bunch each coriander and mint, picked and washed
• To serve: pomegranate molasses, extra virgin olive oil and sumac
1. In a large bowl, marinate chicken thigh in baharat and garlic. Add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and pomegranate molasses. Leave for a few hours or overnight.
2. Scrub parsnip and roughly dice. Place in a small saucepan with some ghee, sea salt and white pepper. Add water to cover, then simmer over medium-low heat until tender (about ½ hour).
3. Purée in a blender with a squeeze of lemon juice and extra sea salt, if needed. Keep purée warm in a small saucepan.
4. Place chicken in a small roasting tray with chicken stock. Season and roast in a moderate oven (180°C) for 25 minutes. Remove chicken from oven, checking it is cooked. Cover lightly with foil and leave in a warm spot to rest.
5. Meanwhile, cut pomegranate in half horizontally. Hold a half, cut side down, in one hand over a bowl. Using a large wooden spoon, gently but firmly tap the back of the pomegranate; the seeds will fall through your fingers into the bowl. Repeat with the other half.
6. Add preserved lemon, cucumber, pistachios, seeds and herbs to bowl. Add a dash of extra virgin olive oil, pomegranate seeds and molasses, sea salt and pepper. Gently fold
7. Blanch beans in boiling water for 1 minute, or until cooked to your liking, then drain.
8. Place a spoonful of purée in the centre of a warm plate, divide beans on top of purée, then top with chicken.
To serve, spoon roasting juices over the top, place a spoonful of salsa on chicken, then sprinkle with sumac to taste. Drizzle the plate with extra pomegranate molasses.