I cannot rave about this dish enough Dear Reader. It's everything good in the world on one plate: pieces of juicy spiced grilled chicken on a bed of smooth, creamy hummus with a fresh tomato and parsley salad on the side. This is definitely a pushy recipe Dear Reader!
I know so many of you love easy recipes that you can whip up that taste great and that chicken is a favourite meat for you. This hummus chicken is so tasty that dare I suggest that you could easily serve this at a dinner party and it would easily be the most popular dish. It was inspired by the grilled chicken at El Jannah. I know I sound like a total salesperson but I really want you to make this. If you're looking for something to feed people this would be perfect.
I never buy hummus because you cannot get easier than this hummus-and the key is to use the chickpea water from the tin so that the hummus becomes smooth and creamy. The salad is one that I often make and it's like the laziest person's version of a tabouli without the burghul. I always seem to have herbs leftover and this time I had an enormous head of parsley that I wanted to use up as well as some ripe tomatoes. Just be sure to season this well and I promise that this meal will sing with flavour.
This reminds me of when we went to someone's house for dinner, we'll call her Mish. She and I weren't great friends, she sort of resented me and she would often make snipey remarks at me but Mr NQN and her husband were friends so I would ignore the digs and just complain to Mr NQN when we got home about how much I couldn't stand her.
Mish made us a chicken dish made with pomegranate molasses. "Everyone looooves this dish," she said smiling smugly. I had to admit that it smelled great in the oven. When she set it down it was a bit pale but it had a delicious aroma (I always like roast chicken skin to look a bit caramelised). I put some on my fork and chewed. It had no flavour because she hadn't salted it at all. "I don't salt food," she said proudly (weird flex, but ok).
I'm a big salt person. I won't add a lot but you really need a sprinkle of it especially on foods like potatoes, tomatoes and well this chicken to bring out the flavour. I looked around the table for the salt and there was a grinder at the other end of the table.
I didn't want to offend her (because she was the type that was always offended by everyone) but this chicken was in desperate need of salt and also because I'm not consuming calories without some sort of sensory payoff. "Excuse me, can you pass the salt?" I asked whispering to the person near it. Her head swung around like a meerkat, her dark rimmed eyes glaring as she saw the need for salt as a criticism. But I was hungry and it smelled good and all it needed was salt.
I tried to subtly add some salt. Out came a couple of stray grains but the salt was compacted at the top from humidity. And what should have been a quick grind became a bit of a production as people saw that I was struggling with the salt. "Here let me help," said one man who repeated the same and then unscrewed the top. Mish rolled her eyes and dug into her salt-less chicken with determination.
Then someone else at the table piped up, "Yeah this needs a bit of salt," he said and took the salt. And then the whole table concurred that the dish needed it while she stared daggers at me. We never did get invited over again after that! Shame...
So tell me Dear Reader, do you prefer your roast chicken darker in colour? Are you a salt person? Do you take it as an insult if someone adds salt to their food?
Hummus Chicken & Salad
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
- 1.8kg chicken, skin on, cut into 8 pieces
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 8 garlic cloves
- 3 teaspoons sumac
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Salt to season
Hummus & Salad
- 400g/14oz tin chickpeas, do not drain
- 4 tablespoons tahini
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- Salt to season
- 1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley, leaves removed and chopped
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 2 green spring onions, chopped (white and green)
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons oil
Tip: serve this with the 5 minute foolproof garlic sauce too!
Step 1 - Take the chicken out of the fridge. Place the lemon juice, vinegar, oil, garlic, sumac and cinnamon in a blender and process. Marinate the chicken in this out of the fridge for 30-45 minutes allowing the chill to come off the chicken.
Step 2 - While the chicken is marinating, you can make the hummus and salad. To make the hummus place the chickpeas (water and all), tahini and garlic and process until smooth. Add the salt to taste. Smooth out onto a serving plate.
Step 3 - To make the salad, toss the parsley, tomatoes, spring onions, vinegar and oil together and set aside.
Step 4 - Preheat a grill or bbq onto maximum or highest heat. Grill the chicken for 13-20 minutes (the wings will take 13 minutes while the breast will take close to 20). Turn it once during that one and baste with oil. Season with salt and place the chicken on top of the bed of hummus. Place salad around the edge.