I 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
- Put the chicken in a large bowl. Add the marinade ingredients and mix well, then leave for about an hour.
- 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.
- 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.
- Cut the broccoli into florets and drizzle with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle over the chilli flakes.
- Roast the broccoli at 200˚C for about 15 minutes until the tips of the florets become crisp. Place in a large bowl.
- Dry-roast the almonds lightly in a frying pan for about 4–5 minutes, then roughly chop. Add to the broccoli.
- Add the baby spinach or rocket, squeeze in the lemon juice and crumble over the feta.
- Serve and enjoy!
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