Diana Henry: Recipe for Turkish-Spiced Chicken with Hot Green Relish

Diana Henry: Recipe for Turkish-Spiced Chicken with Hot Green Relish

  1. List Of Ingredients
  2. For chicken-
  3. 6 tbsp olive oil
  4. 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  5. 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  6. 1 tsp ground cumin
  7. 2 garlic cloves, grated
  8. Salt and pepper
  9. 6 skinless boneless chicken thighs
  10. For the relish-
  11. 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  12. Sea salt flakes
  13. 1 green chilli
  14. 1 red chilli
  15. 15g (1/2 oz) coriander, roughly chopped
  16. leaves from 8 sprigs of mint, torn
  17. 70g (2 1/2 oz) pitted green olives, roughly chopped
  18. 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  19. 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  20. Good squeeze of lemon juice
  21. Plus lemon wedges to serve

Now Diana has turned her attention to a book exploring all the versatile and delicious recipes that can be created with chicken. Structuring her book to cater for all sorts of events, including ‘posh dinners’ and ‘every night of the week’, her recipes demonstrate the versatility of this popular meat, taking influence from across the globe. After our cookery, food and drink expert Toni Waterfall reviewed Diana’s recipe for Turkish-spiced chicken with hot green relish, we asked Diana if we could share the recipe with our followers to try out at home. Let us know how you get on and share your pictures of the finished dish with us in the comments box below or on Facebook or Twitter.

Turkish-Spiced Chicken with Hot Green Relish

This dish seems simple, but I can’t tell you how much I love it. I’d heard about a Turkish relish-cum-salsa made with crushed green olives and chillies and the desire to try it became overwhelming one night. I have no idea whether this is anything like the Turkish relish I was told about and I don’t care; I just bashed everything together, adding and adjusting. When I’d finished I knew I would make this for the rest of my life. It packs a punch, it includes my beloved coriander and is so hot it makes you reach for a beer. I make it a lot to go with lamb as well as chicken.

The chicken and relish are good with rice, of course, but if you’re in the mood for a wrap, well, there’s nothing better. Make sure you get plenty of cucumber and lettuce in the wrap too, though, as that relish needs taming.


To marinate the chicken, mix the regular oil, cinnamon, cayenne, cumin, garlic and salt and pepper together to make a marinade. Make little slits all over the underside of the pieces of chicken with the point of a knife. Put the chicken into a dish and pour the marinade over, turning to coat. Cover with cling film and put in the fridge. Leave it there for a couple of hours, or overnight. Bring it to room temperature before cooking.

Make the relish just before you cook the chicken. Put the garlic and salt into a mortar and bash it with a pestle until it is crushed. Halve and deseed both chillies and chop them roughly. Add them to the mortar with the coriander, mint and olives and bash everything together, gradually adding the virgin oil and balsamic until you have a rough paste (it should be chunky, not puréed). Add lemon juice to taste and set aside.

Heat a griddle. Lift the chicken out of the marinade, shaking off the excess, and cook it. Start off on a medium heat, cooking the chicken for about two minutes on each side, then reduce the heat to low and cook for another four minutes. The chicken should be cooked right through and singed, but not burnt.

Serve the chicken with lemon wedges, rice or flatbread, a bowl of Greek yogurt and the relish. Cucumber and green salad are good, too.

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