Souped Up Chicken

Serves: 4 people

Difficulty: Moderate

The name of this dish doesn’t do it justice (namely because I struggled to come up with something suitable) but just think of it as the perfect comfort food which doubles up as a wonderful dish when entertaining.

Full of warming spices and spicy dried red chillies, the tomato sauce is luscious and almost creates a soup like stew. It’s chunky, full of flavour and you can add more veg to make it more wholesome.

Don’t be put off by the large ingredients list…I’m sure you already have most of them in your store cupboard.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 75g - 100g pancetta or cooking chorizo, diced
  • 6 dried red chillies
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns, coarsely crushed
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 portabello mushroom, diced (optional)
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 100 ml white wine
  • 1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 100 ml chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons garam masala powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • 4 - 8 chicken joints, bone in and skin left on


1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas 3.

2. In a heavy based casserole pan/dish heat the oil and add the pancetta.

3. As it starts to turn golden brown and go crispy, rip up and stir in the dried chillies, making sure you add in all the loose seeds. Stir in the cinnamon, black pepper, bay leaves, onion and mushrooms (if using).

4. After a few mins the onion will have softened. Stir in the garlic.

5. Saute for 1 minute before pouring in the white wine. Leave to reduce for a few mins.

6. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and chicken stock and bring to a simmer.

7. Add the garam masala powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, sugar, salt and half the fresh coriander. Stir well and bring to the boil.

8. After a few mins taste the sauce and check if it needs more salt or sugar.

9. Place the chicken pieces in the pan making sure they are covered in the soup like sauce.

10. Pop a lid on and bake in the oven for 40 minutes before removing the lid and returning to the oven to allow the chicken skin to crisp up slightly for the last 5 minutes.

11. Test the chicken is cooked through before sprinkling over the remaining fresh coriander.

12. Serve with some mashed potatoes and green veg for the perfect winter warmer!

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