Chicken with chilli, tahini and walnut sauce

Sam Clark serves tender marinated chicken breast with a hot, earthy sauce and spiced cauliflower
Chicken with chilli, tahini and walnut sauce
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes plus marinating
  • Effort: medium


For the chicken

  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed with 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 lemon, juice only
  • 1 tsp hot smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 chicken breasts

For the tahini sauce

  • 1/2 clove garlic, crushed with pinch of salt
  • 2 1/2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 6-8 tbsp water
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 50 g walnut halves, broken up slightly
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped red chillies
  • 1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped

For the spiced cauliflower

  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp fennel seeds
  • 8 peppercorns
  • sunflower oil, for frying
  • 1 heads cauliflower, broken into florets
  • lemon wedges, to serve

For the greens

  • olive oil, for frying
  • 4 handfuls wild greens
  • 1 clove garlic


1. For the chicken: mix together the garlic, lemon juice, paprika, cumin and olive oil to make a marinade. Season with freshly ground black pepper, smear over the chicken and leave to marinate in the fridge for between 4 hours and 2 days. Remove 2 hours before cooking.

2. Preheat a griddle pan and fry the chicken breasts until cooked through (or fry until golden on both sides then finish the cooking in a moderate oven).

3. For the tahini sauce: combine the garlic, tahini and olive oil in a small bowl. Add the lemon juice and whisk in the water a tablespoon at a time, stirring briskly to ensure a smooth sauce.

4. Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan and fry the walnuts until they start to brown. Drain and stir into the tahini sauce, together with the chilli and parsley.

5. For the spiced cauliflower: grind the coriander, cumin and fennel seeds with the peppercorns using a pestle and mortar. Set aside.

6. Pour 1cm depth of oil into a large saucepan over a medium to high heat. When hot, add the cauliflower and fry on all sides until tender and slightly golden. Drain well on kitchen paper and season to taste.

7. Mix the spices with a little sea salt and scatter half the mixture over the cauliflower. Serve with lemon wedges on the side and the remaining spices in a small bowl for people to dunk their florets in.

8. For the greens: heat a little olive oil in a frying pan and lightly fry the greens with the garlic until wilted.

9. Serve the chicken with a drizzle of tahini sauce, and the cauliflower and greens on the side.

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