Ready In: 45 Minutes
- 5 x Chicken thighs, 1 per person (I prefer bone out, skin on)
- 1 x standard tin of chickpeas, drained
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp each sea salt and cracked pepper
- Oregano and mint – 1 Tbsp dried or handful fresh
- Juice of 2 lemons, slices of 1 lemon
- Olive oil
- Chilli flakes or fresh chilli (optional) to taste
- Minimum 5 Plain or garlic pitas
- Fresh leafy greens
- Fresh tomato
- Red onion
- Feta cheese
- Greek yoghurt
- Optional: olives, courgette, eggplant, halloumi
1. Prepare the marinade
Crush the garlic cloves and add to a small bowl with a generous glug of oil, sea salt, pepper, herbs, and chilli, if using.
2. Prep the chicken and chickpeas
Tip the drained chickpeas into the base of a baking dish and lay the chicken thighs on top, skin side up. Pour over the marinade. Leave covered in the fridge for at least half an hour before cooking. Can be prepared the night before, or even prepared and frozen.
3. Bake the Chicken
Place chicken and chickpeas dish in a hot oven. Bake for 20-30 minutes until the chicken skin is golden and turning crunchy, and exposed chickpeas are looking roasty and golden.
4. Prepare Salad Veggies
Prepare salad veggies – prepare leafy greens, slice or dice tomato, slice or dice cucumber, slice or dice red onion. Crumble feta and place in a small bowl. Drizzle with olive or macadamia oil and season with cracked pepper and fresh finely sliced mint leaves. I like to place the salad ingredients on a board or platter and allow everyone to mix and match their preferences, but you could combine the ingredients in a bowl.
5. Toast the Pitas
Pitas can be toasted in a toaster or a sandwich maker, or wrap in foil and place in the oven to heat for the final 10 minutes while the chicken is cooking.
6. Ready to Serve
Remove the chicken tray from the oven. Thighs can be served whole, or slice them into chunks (easier for younger children to manage). Add squeeze of lemon juice over the top!
Serve the components of the meal family style.
** Your meal can be piled high with chicken, chickpeas, salad veg, and wedges of pita, topped with feta and Greek yogurt and a spoonful of the cooking juices. Or, the meal components can be stuffed into an opened pita bread and eaten burger style – your choice!
- Involve your children with mixing the marinade ingredients and draining the chickpeas! Older children or adolescents can be in charge of preparing the salad ingredients.
- **Family Style service: make all the components of the meal available to everyone to serve themselves in any order or quantity they prefer (be mindful of sharing what is available). Serving meals family style is a proven method for children to learn to eat a wider diet through positive mealtime experiences and autonomy.
- The chicken pieces can be cooked on a BBQ, while the chickpeas could be cooked on the grill plate.
- Eggplant, courgette and halloumi cheese would complement this meal – bake in the oven with the same marinade, or roast on a BBQ.
Did you know that our body usually stores vitamins and minerals but it does not store zinc! This can mean that we can become zinc deficient if we do not include certain foods in our meals.
Zinc is an essential nutrient for the human body as it ensures healthy cell growth and keeps our immunity strong.
This recipe contains chicken and chickpeas which are a great source for zinc. To learn more about zinc, its health benefits and what happens when we are zinc deficient, please see our article Zinc (for immunity, skin health and libido).
Anya has been feeding hungry learners for many years and her focus is on developing healthy, informed, responsible and positive relationships between children and their food and eating.
Anya has studied Nutrition, with a focus on children and adolescents, and through her work as a cook and nutrition advisor in the early learning space, she has been able to practice and teach positive eating relationships (University of Idaho and Ellyn Satter Institute) through a lens of Reggio Emilia and Te Whariki.
With a family of five, Anya focuses on humble, nourishing and sustainable family meals that are satisfying, tasty and don’t break the budget. Just as our great-grandparents once did.
Anya is currently developing menus and food education for Libelle Group. When she is not in the kitchen, browsing food ideas or reading cookbooks, Anya loves wandering in nature with her dog, Charlie.
You can find Anya at Anya Bell.