Turn cheap chicken thighs into fajitas – your fave new weekday dinner recipe

Getting together with friends and family to enjoy delicious food is one of life's greatest pleasures. It's always fun to tuck into a selection of dishes and sometimes even enjoy cooking together in the process.

So why not take inspiration from these fabulous online foodies and use some of these recipes for your next dinner party? There's something for everyone, from curry to fajitas.

The dishes are perfect for a crisp Autumn evening, guaranteed to warm you up as you chat and laugh with your nearest and dearest. What are you waiting for? Get cooking!

Roasted cauliflower curry by Corina Blum

Serves 4


1 cauliflower, cut into 5cm pieces

1 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing

½ tsp paprika

½ tsp cayenne pepper

½ tsp ground turmeric

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

2 tbsp coriander leaves, to serve

Rice and pickles, to serve

For the sauce

1 onion, roughly chopped

1 tbsp root ginger, roughly chopped

5 cloves of garlic

1-2 chilli peppers, to taste

2 tbsp vegetable oil

400g tin chopped tomatoes

2 tsp ground coriander

2 tsp garam masala

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp cayenne pepper

½ tsp ground turmeric

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 160°C fan/gas mark 4. Lightly oil a baking tray.

2. Put the cauliflower pieces, oil and all the spices in a bowl and mix well to coat. Arrange on the lightly oiled baking tray. Roast in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, turning over halfway through. You can also air fry the cauliflower; it’ll take about 15 to 20 minutes at 180°C.

3. For the sauce, blitz the onion, ginger, garlic and chilli pepper in a food processor and then transfer to a saucepan with the oil. Fry gently for about 5 minutes. While they are cooking, blitz the tinned tomatoes in the blender.

4. Stir the dried spices into the onion, plus a tablespoon of water if the paste seems too dry, and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes.

5. Stir in the blitzed tomatoes. Bring to the boil, then lower to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.

6. Serve the roasted cauliflower with the curry sauce, topped with some coriander leaves. I also like to have some pickles and rice on the side.



For the fried onions & rice

400g white basmati rice

3 onions, sliced

6-7 tbsp oil

2 bay leaves

2 tsp cumin seeds

3 cloves

2 tsp salt

1 star anise

1 black cardamom pod

2 green cardamom pods

5cm cinnamon stick

A small pinch of saffron soaked in 1-2 tbsp warm milk

For the prawns

350g raw king prawns

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp salt

4 cloves of garlic, crushed

5cm piece ginger, grated

1 green chilli, finely chopped

For the biryani masala sauce

6-7 tbsp oil

1 black cardamom pod

1 star anise

2 bay leaves

2 green cardamom pods

2 tsp cumin seeds

3 tomatoes, finely chopped

½ tsp green cardamom powder

½ tsp chilli powder

½ tsp turmeric

1 tsp ground coriander

½ tsp ground cumin

2 tbsp natural yoghurt

Mint leaves, to garnish

1. Wash, drain and soak the rice for 20 minutes. Fry the onions in the oil over a medium-high heat until they turn a dark golden-brown. Set on a kitchen towel-lined plate to drain.

2. Fill a large saucepan with cold tap water, 3 to 5cm from the top. Bring to a rolling boil and add all the spices and salt except for the saffron milk. Drain the rice and add to the pan. Boil for 7 to 8 minutes with the lid off until the rice is cooked. Drain and leave the rice to cool in the pan.

3. Peel and devein the prawns, then marinate by adding all the ingredients into a bowl and thoroughly mix. Set aside.

4. To make the biryani masala sauce, heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and add all the whole spices. Once these start to release their aromas, add the tomatoes, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes until softened. Add the powdered spices and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then turn the heat to low and add the yoghurt. Cook this until you start to get a thicker sauce. Add the prawn mixture and cook for about 6 to 7 minutes over a medium heat, stirring regularly, until the prawns are cooked. Turn the heat off.

5. Take a casserole dish and put a layer of the rice on the bottom. Spoon over a teaspoon of saffron milk and then a handful of fried onions. Top with a layer of the prawn masala. Repeat until all the rice, saffron milk, fried onions and prawn masala have been used up. The final layer should be a layer of rice, a final sprinkle of saffron milk, some fried onions and a garnish of mint leaves. Serve with a dollop of yoghurt on the side.

Serves 4


8 boneless chicken thighs

70g fajita seasoning

1 tbsp oil

1 red pepper, thinly sliced

1 large white onion, thinly sliced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

8 small flour tortilla wraps

For the salsa

1 pineapple, cut into wedges

2 large tomatoes, finely chopped

1 red onion, finely chopped

Handful of coriander, finely chopped

1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

2 limes, zested and juiced

¼ tsp salt

1. Preheat your oven to 200°C/ 180°C fan/gas mark 6. Coat the chicken thighs all over in your fajita seasoning. Place the chicken thighs into the oven for 25 minutes and until golden in colour.

2. Allow to rest for a few minutes before slicing into strips. Meanwhile, to make the pico de gallo salsa, grill the pineapple until lightly charred, approximately 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and finely dice.

3. Allow the pineapple to cool, then add to a mixing bowl with the tomatoes, red onion, coriander, chilli, lime zest and juice, and salt, then mix together.

4. To make the fajita vegetables, preheat a cast-iron pan with the oil. Add the pepper, onion and minced garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally so they don’t stick, until al dente but cooked through.

5. To assemble the fajitas, add strips of chicken to a flour tortilla and add a good helping of fajita vegetables. Add an even better helping of pineapple pico de gallo salsa. Tuck in and enjoy with friends and family.

Serves 2


2 tbsp olive oil

4 boneless and skinless chicken thighs, or breasts

1 onion, sliced

1 red pepper, sliced

4 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 tbsp dried oregano

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, or tinned anchovies

1 tbsp plain flour

150ml rosé or white wine

500g passata or chopped tomatoes

200ml chicken stock

½ jar sundried tomatoes

1 tbsp tomato ketchup

Handful of black olives

Salt and black pepper

Handful of basil, torn, to garnish

1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and brown the chicken on all sides; this takes about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

2. Add the onion to the pan and cook on a low heat for about 5 minutes until softened, then add the red pepper and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the garlic, oregano and Worcestershire sauce, then sprinkle over the flour and mix well.

3. Add the wine, passata and chicken stock, and bring to the boil for a few minutes.

4. Return the chicken to the pan and reduce to a simmer. Cook until the liquid has reduced, and the sauce is quite thick; this takes about 20 minutes.

5. Add the sundried tomatoes, ketchup and olives, and season well with salt and black pepper.

6. Scatter the basil leaves on top just before serving. This works well paired with rice or pasta.

The Social Kitchen (192-page hardback, RRP £25) is available to purchase from mezepublishing.co.uk and bookshops including Amazon and Waterstones

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