Not sure what takes centre stage in this recipe.  The smokey, sticky chicken thighs, cooked to perfection on the Barbecue.  The nutty quinoa salad with gloriously sweet summer tomatoes and tangy olives or the silky avocado cream that bought the whole dish together.  This was a winner chicken dinner, perfect for a summers evening that in my eyes, ticked every box.


Prep time:  35 minutes         Marinating time:  Minimum 1 hour       Cooking time:  35  Minutes      $$  Medium Budget


Serves 4


For the Chicken:


8 chicken thigh fillets, trimmed of any excess fat

1/4 cup of olive oil

2 tbs of smoked paprika

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

2 tbs of lemon thyme (substitute normal thyme or leave out)

1 tbs of honey

Sea salt and cracked pepper

2 tbs of finely chopped flat leaf parsley to serve


For the Salad:


1 cup of quinoa, cooked according to packet instructions

1 punnet of assorted baby tomatoes, halved

1 cup of pitted kalamata olives

1/2 a red onion, thinly sliced top to bottom

2 handfuls of baby rocket leaves

2 tbs of finely chopped flat leaf parsley

2 tbs of olive oil

2 tbs of red wine vinegar

1 tsp of dijon mustard

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

1/2 tsp of caster sugar

Sea salt and cracked pepper


For the Avocado Cream:


1 large, ripe avocado

2 tbs of greek yoghurt

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

A handful of mint leaves

1-2 tbs of water

Salt & Pepper


In a small mixing bowl, place the olive oil, paprika, lemon juice, lemon thyme, honey and salt and pepper and whisk to combine.  Place the chicken thighs in a shallow dish and pour over the marinade, spreading it around so that all of the chicken is coated.  Refrigerate for at least one hour before cooking.


In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, tomatoes, olives, rocket, onion and chopped parsley and set aside.  In a small bowl whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, dijon and sugar and season with a little salt and pepper.  Set aside and pour the dressing over the salad just before serving.


Scoop out the avocado flesh into a small food processor or nutri ninja and add the yoghurt, mint, lemon juice and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.  Blitz to combine, adding a little water if the mixture is too thick.  Once smooth and creamy, set aside.


Heat a BBQ plate to nice and hot and cook the chicken for approximately 10 minutes, either side.  If the chicken is looking quite charred, reduce the heat and pull the hood of the Barbie down, if you don’t have a hood on your Barbie then you can finish the chicken  in a 180° oven for about 10-15 minutes.


To plate the dish, put a nice dollop of avocado cream on the centre of the plate and use the back of the spoon to spread it around in a circular motion.  Divide the salad between the plates, making a nice pile and top with a couple of chicken thighs and a sprinkling of parsley.  Pour over any pan juices from the chicken thighs and serve.


Leftover Mint?  You may want to cook this…..

Sweet & Sour Pork Spare Ribs with Cucumber & Mint Salsa