Delicious Chicken (Serve with Mint Couscous)

Pumpkin gnocchi

This is an exotic and warming main dish that I accidentally created one day when a recipe called for the flavour-packed marinade in which my chicken was reclining to be discarded. I ignored the instructions and cooked the chicken in the marinade with such scrumptious results that ever since it has been known simply as 'Delicious Chicken!' Take note that the chilli is a subtle note and does not overpower the dish.

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 150g / 6oz dark brown muscovado sugar
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped (39p lb)
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped (58p for a pack of 3)
  • grated zest and juice of an orange (45p)
  • 6 chicken legs with skin on (£3.19 for pack of 4)

For the mint couscous

  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 450g / 1lb couscous (59p for 500g)
  • 2-3 tbsps fresh mint, chopped roughly (79p per pack)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 500ml / 18fl oz boiling water

For the chicken

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C / 400F / Gas Mark 6.
  2. In a large, shallow casserole/lasagne dish, mix the salt and sugar with 100ml-150ml cold water until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Stir in the onion, garlic, chilli, zest and orange juice. Baste the chicken in the sauce and then lay the chicken on top of the marinade, ensuring that all onion and chilli pieces are pushed back into the marinade (otherwise they can burn), and bake for 35-40 minutes. If the chicken skin is not sufficiently golden then wham it under a hot grill for a few minutes to brown.
  4. Skim off any excess chicken oil from the sauce if necessary.

For the mint couscous

  1. This is so easy and can be made up to 3 hours in advance and kept at room temperature. Couscous is very welcoming to lots of flavours - parsley, coriander, harissa, chopped pistachios, lemon juice, dried fruits and pomegranates can all be mixed in with abandon, but I think the simpler the better, particularly when on a budget, and simply stirring in a generous handful of mint makes for a fresh, intense flavour - just add lots!
  2. In a large bowl, mix the olive oil and salt with the couscous.
  3. Pour over 500ml boiling water, cover and set aside for 20 minutes.
  4. Fluff up with a fork and add the mint and cover and set aside again for 30 minutes at room temperature.


Caroline's passion for cooking was inspired by her mother, a home economist, from whom she acquired most of her cookery skills. She has also trained at cookery schools in France and Italy and Leith's Cookery School in London. Caroline is a Wine Scholar and holds a Diploma in Wines and Spirits. She can be contacted at


  • Photographs David Merewether
  • Words and recipes Caroline Samuels