Chermoula is a punchy North African spice paste that makes a great marinade for chicken, fish or vegetables. The chermoula itself can be made in advance, as it keeps well in the fridge for several days, then all you need to do for this super simple, one-pot meal is bung the chicken and vegetables in the oven and relax.
For 3, with some leftovers:
chicken thighs 10, skin on
new potatoes 12, cut in half
red onions 2, cut in half and then into wedges
tomatoes 12, small, cut in half
For the chermoula:
cumin seeds 1 tsp
flat-leaf parsley a decent handful, roughly chopped
coriander a decent handful, roughly chopped
garlic 3 cloves, crushed
red chilli ½, chopped (scrape out some of the seeds for less heat)
smoked paprika 1 tsp
light olive oil 6 tbsp
For the chermoula, toast the cumin seeds for 1–2 minutes until aromatic, then leave to cool. Juice the lemon and finely chop the lemon husk you’re left with.
Run a knife through the cumin seeds a few times, just to break them up a bit and release their flavour. Put the parsley, coriander, garlic, chilli, smoked paprika, cumin and lemon juice into a food processor or large pestle and mortar. Add 1 tsp of the chopped lemon (reserve the rest for later) and ½ tsp of salt, then blitz or grind to a smooth, loose paste, slowly adding the olive oil to help the process.
Preheat the oven to 190C/gas mark 5. Put the chicken thighs into a large roasting tin or baking dish and nestle the potatoes and onion wedges in between. Sprinkle with salt and scatter over the reserved chopped lemon. Add the chermoula and use your hands to rub it into the chicken, and toss everything together. Make sure the chicken thighs are skin side up, then carefully pour in a cupful of water, trying not to wash the chermoula off the chicken and vegetables. Roast for about 30 minutes, then give everything a good stir and pour in a little more water if it seems too dry.
Add the tomatoes and return to the oven for another 20 minutes. After 50 minutes the chicken should be juicy with crisp, golden-brown skin, and the potatoes cooked through. Everything else should have formed an unctuous sauce. If there doesn’t seem to be enough sauce, transfer the chicken and vegetables to a warm serving dish, add some boiling water to the tin and scrape the bits from the bottom and sides. I find a whisk does this beautifully.
Put the tin over a medium heat (or pour the sauce into a small pan if using a baking dish) and simmer the sauce for a minute or two, then pour over the chicken and serve.