Chermoula chicken with herb quinoa

Merrilees Parker uses a classic North African blend of spices in her fragrant chicken, served with a salad based on the healthy grain quinoa
By Merrilees Parker
Chermoula chicken with herb quinoa
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the chicken

  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp peppercorns
  • dash olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sun-dried tomato purée
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 8 chicken thighs, skin on

For the salad

  • 100 g quinoa
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 7 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 4 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 4 tbsp chopped mint
  • 2 pinches sumac


1. For the chicken: place the coriander seeds, cumin seeds and peppercorns in a heavy-based frying pan and toast for 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant.

2. Transfer the spices to a mortar and crush to a powder. Add a dash of olive oil and stir in the sun-dried tomato paste, chilli powder and 1 teapsoon fine sea salt.

3. Rub the paste all over the chicken, ensuring it is well coated.

4. Place a large heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Lay the chicken thighs in the pan skin-side down and place another slightly smaller pan on top of the chicken to keep it flat against the heat as it cooks. Cook for 15 minutes without touching or turning the chicken.

5. For the quinoa: boil the quinoa in a saucepan of salted water for about 10 minutes until it appears to have sprouted. Drain well and tip into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the lemon juice, a splash of the extra virgin olive oil and plenty of salt and pepper. Set aside.

6. After the chicken has been cooking for 15 minutes (or when the skin appears really crisp), turn it over and fry on the other side for about 1-2 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked all the way through.

7. Add the herbs, the remaining olive oil and the sumac to the quinoa.

8. To serve, pile the quinoa salad onto four serving plates and place two chicken thighs on top of each mound. Drizzle over a little of the pan juices and serve.

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