Updated post. Here, Dr Rupy Aujla shares a recipe from his brilliant book The Doctor’s Kitchen! Dr Rupy is a London-based GP, Ted X NHS Speaker and the hottest name in healthy food right now! I have since become plant-based from publishing this (it’s an update post) but the rest of my family adore this.
Over to Rupy…
One of my best friends from university is now a highly qualified anaesthetist, but she’s a hopeless cook! Despite growing up in Iran with a wealth of culinary heritage, she still hasn’t learnt the kitchen basics, but even she can cook this meal. Sumac, a spice high in antioxidants, is used frequently in Persian cuisine. Tahini is great source ofcalcium and B vitamins, and makes an appearance in both savoury and sweet dishes. I don’t often use dried fruit in savoury meals, but in this dish it works very well. You could also scatter over some pomegranate seeds for some extra flair and texture.
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp sumac, plus extra for sprinkling
½ tsp chilli powder
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (or remove the skin if you prefer)
200g carrots, halved lengthways (unpeeled)
1 red onion, thinly sliced
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2–3 dried apricots, finely chopped
10g unsalted, toasted pistachios, roughly ground
10g pine nuts, toasted
salt and freshly ground black pepper
red rice cooked with a pinch of saffron to serve
For the tahini yoghurt:
200g Greek yoghurt
3 tbsp tahini
grated zest and juice of ½ lemon
Mix 1 tablespoon of the oil with the cinnamon, sumac, chilli powder, and the seasoning in a large bowl. Add the chicken thighs, coat them in the mixture and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 20 minutes (ideally overnight).
Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6.
Toss the carrots in a baking tray with 1 tablespoon of the oil and some seasoning and bake for 20 minutes, until soft and lightly browned.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in an ovenproof frying pan over a low heat, add the onion, garlic and dried apricots and sauté for 2 minutes. Place the marinated chicken thighs in the frying pan skin-side down and cook gently for about 6 minutes. Press the thighs to encourage the skin to colour and crisp up, then turn the thighs over and cook for a further 2 minutes. Transfer to the oven for 12 minutes, or until the chicken is completely cooked through (if you don’t have an ovenproof frying pan, just transfer the chicken to a baking tray).
Combine the tahini yoghurt ingredients in a bowl and sprinkle a little extra sumac on top.
Serve the chicken sprinkled with the toasted pistachios and pine nuts, with the yoghurt and roasted carrots alongside.
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