Middle Eastern Style Chicken

???????????????????????????????This is one of our all time favourite chicken dishes – originally from the Sun Herald magazine under the moniker Syrian Chicken, I’ve tinkered with it a bit to make it suit me better. I’ve omitted the saffron and whole chicken of the original recipe, in favour of chicken thigh pieces, and upped the quantity of some spices, reduced the salt content. Trust me, it’s a winner.

Now, I’m a girl who doesn’t really enjoy fruit with her dinner. I think this arises from bad memories of ‘English’ curries from the ’70s, where it was de riguer to add sultanas for some inexplicable reason. Or bananas. Bananas. I ask you. Pineapple on pizza still gives me the horrors.

This dish contains currants, and it took me a long time to come to terms with that. I didn’t add them at all at first, but tried it, and for some reason, it works for me; little globes of sweetness in amongst the tart of the lemon zest.


  • 1.2 kilos chicken thighs, boned, skinned and cut into large chunks
  • Chicken spice mix: 1 teaspoon each salt, black pepper, turmeric, 2 teaspoons each ground cumin, ground cinnamon
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large onions roughly chopped
  • 6 big cloves garlic
  • 100g ginger
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes (or to taste)
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • small bunch of thyme
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 100g currants
  • 600ml chicken stock
  • coriander leaves to serve

???????????????????????????????Combine the spice mix ingredients, then coat the chicken pieces with it. ???????????????????????????????Fry in batches until browned on all sides, and set aside.IMG_8555

Next, gently fry the onions, garlic and chilli for 10 – 15 until softened and caramelised. Add to the pan the ginger, tomatoes, cumin and thyme, stir and fry for another couple of minutes.IMG_8560

Put the chicken back in the pan along with the rest of the ingredients except the coriander leaves.IMG_8563 Top up with water if the stock does not cover the chicken. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes or until chicken is tender. Top with the chopped coriander.


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