This chicken dish is top of the pecking order when it comes to ease of cooking and combination of flavours. Yoghurt and honey sweetness are a perfect match for charred chicken, crisp chicken skin and crusty peanut bread. With roasted tomatoes, that burst to create a light sauce – ‘dip dip hooray’ – it’s a rustic family meal for sharing or to wow your friends during an informal dinner.
Chicken: (Serves 4 and needs to marinate overnight)
8 boned chicken thighs – with skin.
200ml Greek yoghurt.
1 clove of garlic – crushed.
1/2 tsp salt.
1/4 tsp black pepper.
1 heaped tsp paprika.
2 tsps of coarse sea salt.
120ml Greek yoghurt.
Pinch of salt.
Pinch of white pepper.
2 tsps of runny honey.
Paprika for sprinkling/dusting.
12 Vine tomatoes.
3 sticks of celery – cut into 6cm lengths.
2 tsps Paprika.
Salt and black pepper for seasoning.
Drizzle of olive oil.
1 tabls chopped parsely.
4-8 curls of butter.
4 cooked corn on the cob – cut in half.
200g strong bread flour. Extra for kneading.
100g salted peanuts – ground.
5g easy bake yeast.
50g unsalted butter.
135ml warm water.
Sea salt to sprinkle on top of loaf just before baking.
Caraway seeds to sprinkle on loaf just before baking.
Note: Don’t add salt to the dough mix as the salted peanuts contain salt.
Set oven to gas 8 or 230°C / 450°F
Rub the butter into the flour.
Add the yeast and ground salted peanuts.
Add the warm water and combine to a dough. Add a touch more flour if to wet.
Knead the dough for 5 mins’.
Place dough in a floured bowl, cover with a damp cloth or clingfilm. Rest the dough in a warm place to proof until doubled in size.
Once the dough has double in size, knead again for 3 mins’. You shouldn’t need to flour the surface for the second knead – due to the butter in the dough. But if it does stick, add a little flour as possible to stop it sticking.
Place the kneaded dough in a greased and floured baking tin.
Sprinkle with caraway seeds, sea salt and olive oil. Press into the top of the dough with your finger tips – six or seven good, heavy handed, prods – to incorporate the oil. (see image)
Cover with cling film or a damp cloth and proof again until doubled in size. Bake for 25-30 mins’ until golden brown. Once baked, turn out onto a baking rack. Set aside.
Tip: If the loaf isn’t crisp on the bottom after baking. Remove from the baking tin and pop back in the oven for 5 mins’
Mix the yoghurt, seasoning, spices, garlic and honey set aside.
Remove skin from the chicken thighs and trim the skin into oblong pieces. (see image)
Set the skin aside and store in a refrigerator until ready to cook.
In a bowl coat your chicken thighs with the yoghurt mix. Chill overnight.
Once your chicken thighs have marinated you are ready to proceed.
Set oven to gas 6 or 200°C / 400°F.
Place your trimmed chicken skin pieces on a deep baking tray, lined with silicon paper. (see previous image) Season the chicken skins with sea salt and roast until crisp – about 30 mins’.
Note: The baking tray must have high enough sides to retain the oils/fat dripping from the chicken skins.
Once the skins are crisp (they will shrink to yummy bite size morsels) remove from the oven and set aside. Also, save the oils/fat produced from cooking the skins – it’s full of flavour and will be used when serving later.
Set oven to gas 7 or 220°C / 425°F. Ready for the chicken thighs.
For the thighs, heat a griddle pan to a medium heat. Seal and char the marinaded thighs on both sides. Note: Because of the honey, it is easy to over char the chicken so don’t have your griddle pan smoking hot.
Once you have sealed and charred your chicken, place in the oven for 20 mins’ to cook through.
Set oven to gas 6 or 200°C / 400°F.
Place your celery and vine tomatoes on a roasting tray.
Drizzle with olive oil, season and sprinkle generously with paprika.
Place your cooked sweet corn on the tray with your tomatoes and celery to re-heat.
Roast for 30-40 mins’ or until tomatoes are soft and the skins begin to split. The celery will retain a crunch and the sweet corn will be hot. Set aside your garnish and keep warm.
Tip: Cook the garnish at the same time as the chicken skin – save time and energy.
Mix the yoghurt, seasoning and honey. Set aside.
Serving: (Can be served as a sharing dish or plated for each diner.)
To serve plated: Dress each plate with several good teaspoons of the yoghurt dressing – random blobs, splodges or cheffy smears. (Drizzle extra honey, over the yoghurt, if you like the sweetness) Sprinkle over the yoghurt with paprika – be generous.
Next, add two pieces of cooked chicken thigh to the centre of each plate – brush with the fat/oil saved from cooking the skins. Top with several pieces of crispy chicken skin.
Add 3 roasted tomatoes and three pieces of roasted celery to each plate.
Finally, sprinkle each plate with chopped parsley.
Serve with hot corn on the cob and warm wedges of the crusty peanut and caraway bread. Don’t forget your butter curls.