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Chicken casserole with tomatoes

Chicken casserole

In traditional Indian – or Ayurvedic – cooking, seasonal vegetables and warming herbs and spices are key to boosting health and wellbeing during the cold winter months, says nutritionist Rob Hobson

Chicken casserole in a pan

The chickpeas and dried fruit in this hearty dish are a great source of iron.

Serves 4


  • 100g flaked almonds
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 4 chicken thighs, skin on
  • Salt
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Thumb-sized piece ginger, finely grated
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp smoked sweet paprika
  • 1 fresh red chilli, chopped
  • 2 red peppers, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 large lemon, cut into thick slices
  • 50g green olives, stoned and sliced into rounds
  • 250ml chicken stock
  • 6 dried apricots, roughly chopped
  • 1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 150g green beans, halved
  • Handful fresh coriander, chopped
  • Handful fresh parsley, chopped


  1. In a large dry pan, gently toast the almonds for 2 minutes until golden, then set aside.
  2. In the same pan, heat the ghee over a low heat and add the chicken thighs, skin side down. Season the flesh side with salt and gently cook the thighs until the skin is golden and crisp. Turn the thighs over to seal the flesh side then remove to a plate.
  3. Add the onion to the pan, without cleaning it out, and cook for about 10 minutes until soft and tender, then add the garlic, ginger, fresh chilli and spices, and fry for another minute.
  4. Add the red peppers, lemon slices, olives, stock, apricots and chickpeas and stir everything together. Nestle the chicken thighs on top of the stew and simmer with the lid on for about 20 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer for a further 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has reduced.
  5. Add the green beans for the final 4 minutes of cooking time. Season to taste and top with the coriander, parsley and toasted almonds to serve.

Rob Hobson MSc RNutr is an award-winning registered nutritionist (AFN) and sports nutritionist (SENR) with over 15 years of experience. He founded London-based consultancy RH Nutrition, and has degrees in nutrition, public health nutrition and sports nutrition.

Find out more at Rob Hobson's website, or read more about Healthspan's health experts.