Piri-Piri Chicken With Roasted Squash

Choc-full of flavour and light - piri-piri chicken with roasted squash.

I serve it with a mixture of vegetables which makes this dish a really healthy meal. I add tasty small tomatoes at the end of roasting and steamed or boiled vegetables such as the tenderstem broccoli (broccolini) and/or green beans.

Tomatoes are even healthier when cooked. Cooked tomatoes have less vitamin C than fresh but the cooking makes the health-boasting lycopene in tomatoes more absorbable. Cook tomatoes in a little olive oil to boost lycopene absorption.

Tenderstem broccoli is by far the richest source of a phytochemical called “glucosinolates” – a very important anti-cancer and liver-friendly nutrient found in food.

The chillies and garlic that I use in the marinade are both incredibly healthy.

Red chillies contain high levels of beta-carotene and are a good source of vitamins A, E, C, dietary fibre and potassium. Capsaicin, the basic compound in chillies, may speed up your metabolism and your ability to burn calories.

Garlic has antibacterial properties as well as an anti-inflammatory effect. It is also a good source of vitamin C and B6 and the mineral selenium, a powerful antioxidant.

For 4 people:

Piri-piri marinade:

3 garlic cloves – finely chopped

3 large red chillies – deseeded and finely chopped

3 teaspoons smoked paprika

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

¾ teaspoon sea salt or Himalayan crystal salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

8 skin and boneless chicken thighs

1 small butternut squash, halved, deseeded and each half cut into 4-6 wedges

16-20 small tomatoes

Tenderstem broccoli (broccolini) and/or beans, peas

1.    Preheat the oven to 200C/Fan 180C/400F/gas mark 6. Place the butternut squash wedges in an oven-proof dish and toss with a bit of olive oil. Place the dish in the oven and roast for 35 minutes.

2.    Add all the ingredients for the piri-piri marinade to a small food processor and process until smooth. Place the chicken thighs flat in another oven-proof dish and smother the chicken with the marinade.

3.    When the squash wedges have been in the oven for 15 minutes, place the dish with the chicken in the oven as well. Cook the chicken for about 20 minutes – until the chicken is cooked through.

4.    Add the tomatoes to the squash during the last five minutes. Stem or boil whatever green vegetables you are serving as well.

Divide the piri-piri chicken and vegetables between four plates and spoon over the marinade from the chicken dish. Enjoy!

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