Spicy Chicken


If you’ve got chicken in the fridge, you’ve got dinner – and just a few pantry staples makes a rub that transforms it into a weekday dinner everyone will want again and again. Always use good free range chicken – we use the Waitoa range, which is grown in the Waikato and carries the SPCA tick.

Ready in 1 hour (including marinading time)
Serves:  4


  • 6-8 Waitoa free range chicken thighs, skinless and boneless
  • 1 ½ tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 12 black peppercorns
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ¼-½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon flaky salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 large ripe tomatoes, halved horizontally
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar


Place the coriander and fennel seeds and peppercorns in a mini processor or mortar and pestle and crush. Add the garlic and crush, then add the chilli flakes and salt and crush to a paste. Add the olive oil, then pick the thyme leaves and mix.

Place the spice mix in a large plastic bag and add the chicken thighs. Seal bag and massage bag to rub spice paste into the chicken thighs. Place in the fridge to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the barbecue plate and grill to 160°C.

Remove the chicken thighs from the fridge and bring back to room temperature.

Place on the barbecue plate, close the lid and barbecue the chicken for 15-20 minutes, turning often, until the juices run clear when the chicken is pierced with a skewer.

Season the halved tomatoes and place on the barbecue grill, halfway through chicken cooking time.

Remove the chicken and tomatoes from the barbecue and place on a serving platter.  Drizzle over the vinegar and serve.

Serve with your favourite summer vegetables. BBQ tomatoes and green beans are delicious, as are new potatoes tossed in sour cream and dill.

If you’re not keen on using the BBQ, just grill in the oven.