Spicy chicken with vegetable ragù

Preparation time
over 2 hours

Cooking time
30 mins to 1 hour

Serves 2


From The Hairy Bikers' Cook Off


For the spicy chicken

  • 4 chicken breasts or thighs
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 1 heaped tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, for griddling

For the vegetable ragu

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 aubergine, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 courgettes, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, seeds removed, flesh chopped
  • 1 x 400g/14oz can chopped tomatoes
  • pinch sugar
  • dash balsamic vinegar
  • sprig fresh oregano, finely chopped leaves only
  • small handful flatleaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 lemon, grated zest only


  1. For the spicy chicken, mix all of the ingredients for the spicy chicken, apart from the olive oil, together in a resealable food bag or non-metallic bowl and shake or mix to ensure the chicken is completely coated in the other ingredients. Transfer to the fridge to marinade for at least three hours or overnight.

  2. When ready to cook the chicken, heat a griddle pan until hot, then remove the chicken from the marinade and rub all over with the olive oil. Place on the griddle and cook for about 15 minutes for breast, 20 minutes for thighs, turning once or twice, or until cooked through (juices should run clear with no trace of blood when the thickest part of the chicken is pierced with a skewer).

  3. For the vegetable ragu, heat the olive oil in a wide pan over a medium heat and fry the garlic for one minute until aromatic. Add the aubergine, onion, courgettes and red pepper to the pan and fry for 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes, or until the vegetables are softened and golden-brown in places.

  4. Stir in the tomatoes, sugar, balsamic vinegar and oregano and cook for a further 20 minutes until reduced to a thick, rich consistency.

  5. In a small bowl mix together the parsley and lemon zest then stir this through the vegetables and serve at once with the griddled chicken alongside.

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