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_MG_2930-printI first dis­covered the vir­tues of roast broc­coli a few years ago. I could roast an entire head of it and be pretty sat­is­fied that that was din­ner. A very hot oven, a gen­er­ous drizzle of olive oil, salt, pep­per and chilli flakes, and I was in heav­en. My flat­mates at the time got over it pretty quickly, des­pite their love for it too. Broc­coli cooked this way is so good. Like cauli­flower, and a selec­tion of oth­er veget­ables, broc­coli bene­fits from roast­ing as it intens­i­fies the fla­vour and crisps up the tips.

Roast broc­coli works well as an accom­pani­ment to many meat dishes or as part of a veget­ari­an feast, but I thought in this instance it would go espe­cially well with these chick­en thighs. Again, the dish is very simple and packed with fla­vour, the yogurt slightly ten­der­ising the meat and keep­ing it juicy dur­ing cook­ing. The spices give it a kick, and the cit­rus cuts through the rich­ness per­fectly. Togeth­er you’ve got a recipe for an easy and impress­ive lunch or din­ner, per­fect for some easy enter­tain­ing as the weath­er cools down.


Spiced chicken thighs with a roast broccoli salad


Chick­en thighs and marinade

  • 8–10 free-range chick­en thighs, bone­less and skinless
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cay­enne pepper
  • 1 tbsp yel­low mus­tard seeds
  • Juice of 2 fresh limes
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander
  • 1 cup unsweetened nat­ur­al yogurt
  • Salt and freshly cracked pepper

Roast broc­coli salad

  • 2 heads of broccoli
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp chilli flakes
  • ¼ cup almonds
  • 1 bag baby spin­ach or rocket
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 100g feta


  1. Put the chick­en in a large bowl. Add the mar­in­ade ingredi­ents and mix well, then leave for about an hour.
  2. Pre­heat the oven to 200˚C. Place the chick­en in a roast­ing dish and pour the mar­in­ade over it. Cook in the middle of the oven for about 20 minutes.
  3. Check the chick­en, remov­ing any excess liquid if neces­sary, then return to the oven on a high­er shelf. Con­tin­ue to cook for about 15 minutes, ensur­ing the tops of the thighs get a little crispy but the bot­tom half stays moist.
  4. Cut the broc­coli into florets and drizzle with the olive oil. Sea­son with salt and pep­per and sprinkle over the chilli flakes.
  5. Roast the broc­coli at 200˚C for about 15 minutes until the tips of the florets become crisp. Place in a large bowl.
  6. Dry-roast the almonds lightly in a fry­ing pan for about 4–5 minutes, then roughly chop. Add to the broccoli.
  7. Add the baby spin­ach or rock­et, squeeze in the lem­on juice and crumble over the feta.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

Serves 5–6

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