I love the change of seasons, not just for the weather but for a change in the midweek repertoire of food that I serve.  Tender thigh fillets marinated in the gorgeous citrusy spice sumac, lemon and garlic served with a simple warm salad of roasted veg and nutty quinoa.  There are not too many Middle Eastern dishes in my eyes that are complete without a delicious dollop of yoghurt but this was taken to new heights with the addition of sensational tahini.  From pan to plate in approximately 30-40 minutes this made a sensational meal!


Prep time:  20  Minutes              Cooking time:  30  Minutes                 $  Low Budget


Serves 4


8  Chicken thigh fillets

2 tbs of olive oil

1 tbs of sumac

1 tbs of honey

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

Sea salt and cracked pepper


For the Salad:


1 cup of quinoa

11/2 cups of water

Sea salt

1 large carrot peeled, halved and sliced diagonally

1 zucchini, halved and sliced diagonally

1 red onion, halved (ends in tact) skin removed and sliced into wedges

100gm of baby rocket leaves

1 cup of coriander leaves, roughly chopped

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling


For the Dressing:


1 cup of greek yoghurt

1 tbs of Tahini paste

2 tbs of lemon juice

1 tbs of red wine vinegar

1 tsp of honey

Coriander sprigs to serve


Place the chicken thigh fillets between two pieces of cling film and bash lightly with a rolling pin, to even out the thickness and place them in a shallow dish.  Combine the olive oil, sumac, garlic and lemon juice in a small bowl, season with salt and pepper.  Pour the marinade over the thigh fillets and massage the marinade into the fillets so they are completely covered.  Cover and refrigerate for at least half an hour or better yet, make the marinade the night before and allow the chicken to infuse with all those gorgeous flavours for 24 hours!


Preheat the oven to 200°C.  Place the carrots, zucchini and onions in a baking tray and drizzle with a little extra virgin and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until golden and caramelised.


Pop the quinoa and water in a saucepan and season with salt and pepper.  Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally and once boiling, cover with a lid, reduce to a simmer and allow to absorb for 12 minutes.  After 12 minutes, remove from the heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes.


Combine the yoghurt, tahini, lemon juice, honey and red wine vinegar in a small bowl and whisk to combine.  Set aside.


Heat a heavy based fry pan to nice and hot and fry the chicken thighs for approximately 5 minutes on each side.  Transfer to a baking tray and continue to cook in the oven for 10 minutes.


Place the cooked quinoa, coriander and rocket in the baking tray with the roasted veg, drizzle with a little more olive oil and lemon juice and toss to combine.


To plate the dish, divide the quinoa between four plates and top each plate with two thigh fillets.  Spoon over a generous dollop of the dressing  and top with coriander sprigs.