Roast chicken is the favorite comfort food of millions of people around the world. While it is of course delicious when seasoned only with a little salt and perhaps some pepper, it is possible to take it to whole new flavor levels with the simple addition of other, not necessarily complex, flavorings. These additions could for example take the form of citrus fruit wedges and herbs in the cavity of a whole bird, or as in this instance, a dry marinade rubbed in to the chicken flesh and its flavors allowed to infuse before the meat is cooked. In keeping with the spicy nature of the chicken, the accompaniments were also seasoned with a tasty variety of spices.

Curried Roast Chicken Thighs, Cauliflower and Peppers
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Curry spiced roast chicken thighs with turmeric spiced cauliflower and sauteed bell peppers and onion

Turmeric is a spice which is not only flavorful but colorful and can greatly embellish many foods both in terms of taste and presentation. There is also evidence in modern times that turmeric has many health giving properties, making it an even more appealing potential food additive. One thing to watch when using turmeric is that it will stain just about anything it comes in to comes in to contact with, particularly plastics and fabrics.

Ingredients (Serves 1)

Chicken Thighs
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Fresh chicken thighs

  • 3 whole chicken thighs, bone in and skin on
  • 2 teaspoons medium curry powder
  • Salt
  • ½ medium head of cauliflower
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ red bell pepper
  • ½ green bell pepper
  • ½ yellow bell pepper
  • ½ small white onion
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil for frying and a little extra for roasting tray
  • ½ teaspoon medium chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon freshly chopped cilantro (coriander leaf), plus extra to garnish


Seasoning Chicken Thighs
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Curry powder is scattered over chicken thighs

If the chicken thighs are bought frozen, they should be defrosted in a deep plate or dish (to contain the juices) in the bottom of your fridge overnight.

Where possible, plan to dry marinate the thighs for several hours, or even overnight in the fridge. This will lead to a far fuller flavor being experienced when they are eaten. Do be sure to remove them from the fridge at least half an hour before they go in to the oven to allow them to come up to room temperature.

Scatter the curry powder over the chicken thighs and use your fingers to carefully rub it all over each one, being careful not to pull off or damage the skin as you do so. Don't forget to coat the undersides as well as the skin sides. Cover and set aside or place in to the fridge to marinate.

When you are ready to cook the thighs, put your oven on to preheat to 400F/200C/Gas Mark 6. Lightly oil a roasting tray and season the chicken thighs with salt only at this point. If you season them earlier, the salt will draw the moisture from the meat as they marinate, causing it to be tough and dry when it has been cooked. Lay them skin sides up on the oiled tray and cook in the oven for thirty to thirty-five minutes.

Sliced Peppers and Onion
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Sliced bell peppers, onion and garlic

While the chicken is roasting, seed the bell pepper halves and slice to a thickness of around half an inch. Peel the onion half and lay it flat side down on your chopping board. Slice across the way and separate each slice in to strands. Peel the garlic clove and finely slice or roughly chop.

Resting Chicken Thighs
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Roast chicken thighs are left to rest

Take the chicken thighs from the oven and pierce each one at its thickest part to ensure the juices run clear. If not, cook for five further minutes and test again in the same way. Sit them aside to rest while you cook the accompaniments.

Cauliflower and Turmeric
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Cauliflower and turmeric are added to cooking pot

Put the teaspoon of turmeric and some salt in to a fairly large pot. Break the cauliflower in to florets and wash through a colander before adding them also to the pot. Try to ensure the florets are of similar size to ensure they cook evenly.

Simmering Cauliflower
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Cauliflower is gently simmered

Pour enough boiling water in to the pot to comfortably cover the cauliflower florets and bring to a moderate simmer for seven to eight minutes or until the florets are just softened.

Sauteing Peppers
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Peppers, onion and garlic are added to frying pan

Pour the vegetable oil in to a small non-stick frying pan and bring it up to a medium heat. Add the peppers, onion and garlic and season with the chili powder as well as some salt and pepper. Saute for two to three minutes until the pepper and onion slices are just softened.

Cilantro is added to Peppers
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Cilantro is added to peppers and onion at last minute

At the very last minute, scatter the cilantro in to the frying pan and stir it through.

Plated Chicken Thighs
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Chicken thighs are lifted to serving plate

Lift the rested chicken thighs to one half of a square serving plate. Drain the cauliflower at your sink and through a colander. Be sure to wash the colander and the sink immediately as the turmeric stains would later prove very difficult to remove.

Plated Cauliflower and Peppers
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Cauliflower and sauteed peppers are plated

Arrange the cauliflower florets on the serving plate and use a slotted spoon to add the sauteed peppers and onion. Scatter the last of the cilantro over the dish as a final garnish before service.

Alternative Curried Chicken Thighs Cooking Method

Casseroled Curried Chicken Thighs
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Casseroled chicken thighs in curry sauce

If you find you are short of time and can't afford to wait for the chicken thighs to marinate, or you simply like an easy to make but tasty sauce with your dish, you could instead casserole the chicken thighs in curry sauce. Preheat your oven as in the main recipe and while it is heating up, season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and brown them all over in some hot oil in a frying pan.

Lay the chicken thighs in a casserole dish and pour over a one pound jar of curry sauce. The onions, peppers and garlic could optionally be added to also cook in this fashion. Cook in the oven for thirty-five minutes before resting while you prepare the cauliflower.