SUMAC & ALLSPICE CHICKEN WITH AUBERGINE & DILL RELISH

A midweek supper shouldn't be bland. I have so many friends who just lob a chicken breast into a frying pan and serve it with greens. I like that, when done properly, but why not experiment a little? 

Here I've used chicken thighs; they're much cheaper and more succulent than breasts, especially when still with bone and skin. Sumac and allspice are easy to come by, just have a look in the spice aisle and you'll find them. 

Ingredients - serves 2/3

For the chicken 

  • 6 chicken thighs, bone and skin intact 
  • 1tsp sea salt flakes 
  • 1tbsp olive oil 
  • 1tsp ground sumac 
  • 1tsp ground allspice 
  • 1 garlic clove, minced  

For the relish

  • 1tbsp olive oil 
  • 1 aubergine, very finely diced 
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped 
  • 1tbsp freshly chopped dill 
  • 1tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 fat red chilli, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper 

Method

Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas mark 8. In a bowl toss together the ingredients for the chicken, rubbing the spicy oil into the meat. Heat a little oil in an oven-proof frying pan over high heat, then add the chicken thighs, skin-side down. Fry for a few minutes until golden, then turn over and roast in the oven for 30-35 minutes - the skin should be deeply bronzed and slightly crispy. 

For the relish heat the oil in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Add the aubergine and tomatoes and fry for a few minutes until softened. Remove from the heat and stir in the dill, balsamic and chilli. Any juices that leak from the chicken when cooking, do add to the relish. Season to taste and serve with the spiced thighs.