Vaguely Moroccan, with its herby chermoula marinade, citrussy greens and crispy chickpeas, this substantial salad is packed full of contrasting flavours and textures, and makes a very satisfying stand-alone lunch or supper dish. Happily for the cook, it's delicious both warm or at room temperature, which means you can make it a few hours ahead of time if that's more convenient.
The rich, sweet flavour of the roasted squash and slow-cooked chicken thighs pair beautifully with a lightly chilled, silky red such as an Austrian zweigelt – if you'd prefer to keep it plant-based, make double the amount of squash, and drizzle all the chermoula over the top before serving, perhaps with a crumble of feta cheese for good measure.
Chicken chermoula salad
- 6 skinless chicken thighs, bone in
- 550g squash, e.g. butternut or acorn, peeled and cut into chunky half moons
- Olive oil
- Half a tin of chickpeas
- 300g black kale, finely sliced
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
- Small bunch of coriander, finely chopped
- Handful of stoned black olives
For the chermoula:
- 50ml olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp hot paprika
- 1 tsp fine salt
- 6 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 large bunch of coriander, finely chopped
Put the chicken in an ovenproof dish. Blitz together the chermoula ingredients in a small blender and pour 2/3 of it over the chicken. Cover and leave to marinade, ideally overnight, but even a couple of hours is better than nothing.
Heat the oven to 200C FAN. Put the squash on a lightly greased baking sheet, season and bake for about 30 minutes until soft and charred. As soon as it's in the oven, drain the chickpeas well. Season and spread them out on a second lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes until crisp.
Set these aside, and turn the oven down to 160C. Add 2 tbsp water to the dish, cover the chicken tightly with foil and bake for 1 hour, then remove the foil, turn the heat up to 180C and bake for another 20 minutes.
Put 2 tbsp olive oil in a large wide pan over a medium-high heat. Wash the kale, shake dry and saute until wilted. Take off the heat, season and stir in the lemon juice, herbs and olives. Put on to a serving platter.
Shred the chicken from the bone and scatter on top of the squash along with the squash and roasted chickpeas. Finish with a drizzle of the remaining chermoula.