Grilled chicken with chilli, lemon and mint

This is a smoky little number adapted from Nigel Slater. Very tasty, but if you cook it indoors I recommend opening all the windows and disabling any smoke alarms you may have. Mr Slater recommends a soothing pile of buttery couscous with it — in my experience it’s a good idea to have some yogurt and cucumber salad on hand as well.

1 lb chicken off the bone (e.g. breast, thigh, whatever)
1 medium chilli (red or green), finely chopped
1 tsp crushed dried chillis
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 spring onions, finely chopped
2 pinches saffron
a few mint leaves, chopped
4 tbsp olive oil
juice of 1 large or 2 small lemons

Cut the chicken into finger-sized strips and put in a bowl. Whisk together the other ingredients, saving some of the lemon juice and mint for later, and pour over the chicken. Toss gently and leave aside for half an hour or so.

I cooked this in one of those ridged cast-iron grill pans, but you could do it on a barbecue, in which case it’s probably a good idea to use larger pieces of chicken. Get the pan good and hot, and cook the chicken for 3-4 minutes on each side, until it is golden and sticky. This is the point at which the room will fill with choking, chilli-tinged smoke if you haven’t opened the windows.

When the chicken is ready, season with the remaining mint and lemon juice. If there’s any marinade left, you can use this to deglaze the pan and pour over the chicken.

This recipe is based on one from Real Food by Nigel Slater.
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