Cooking makes sense seasonally. It takes advantage of fresh, locally grown produce that’s bursting with nutrition and easy on the wallet. It’s a wonderful way to celebrate our local farmers and understand the seasons in terms of fresh produce. Here, we feature a couple of in-season veggies, capsicum and green beans that are plentiful and packed full of flavour right now, teamed with a spiced chicken so good you’ll wish you cooked a double batch. Serves two.
Chicken and Capsicum
4 chicken thighs
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 clove garlic, crushed
Drizzle of Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1 red capsicum, cut into strips
½ a Spanish onion, sliced thinly
1 lemon, zested and cut into halves (save the zest for the quinoa salad, use warm juice over salad)
¼ cup white quinoa
½ cup water
20g sliced almonds, toasted
Handful of chopped fresh coriander
Handful of chopped fresh mint
Warm lemon juice (from baked lemon halves above)
Zest of one lemon (as above)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Combine all marinade ingredients (except the lemon) in a mortar and pestle and blend to form a thick paste. Coat chicken thighs well with paste and set aside in the fridge to marinate for a couple of hours. Using the zester, remove the fine zest from the lemon and set aside for the salad.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line a baking tray with baking paper. Heat a splash of oil in a pan and pan fry the thighs on either side to brown, then place on a lined baking tray with the zested lemon halves and bake for 15 minutes or until cooked through. Add sliced capsicum and onion to the frypan and sauté until softened and coated in the crispy charred remnants of the chicken marinade.
Meanwhile, cook the quinoa in water as per packet instructions. Once cooked, toss with toasted sliced almonds, herbs and lemon zest and squeezed baked lemon halves and drizzle with olive oil.
Serve warm, dressed salad topped with chicken and capsicum with some crunchy steamed green beans.
Recipe and image by Jada Bennett-Cross