Sesame suya chicken

Sesame suya chicken
Lerato's sesame suya chicken

This suya chicken recipe from Lerato Umah-Shaylor has all the enchanting spicing of the much-loved Nigerian chicken dish, but swaps the peanuts for sesame.

Sesame suya chicken
Lerato's sesame suya chicken

Lerato says: “As a child I’d wait impatiently for the suya sellers, typically northern Nigerian men who were experts at this open-fire-cooked delicacy that’s much loved across the country. Much to my chagrin, after writing my cookbook Africana, I developed a nut allergy. I quickly turned to the closest nutty yet nut-free alternative: sesame seeds. The tahini (sesame paste) replaces peanut butter and the sesame seeds replace the peanuts.”

Loved this? Try Lerato’s smoky jollof rice recipe.

  • Serves icon Serves 4-6
  • Time icon Hands-on time 25 min, plus at least 2 hours marinating. Oven time 35 min

This suya chicken recipe from Lerato Umah-Shaylor has all the enchanting spicing of the much-loved Nigerian chicken dish, but swaps the peanuts for sesame.

Lerato says: “As a child I’d wait impatiently for the suya sellers, typically northern Nigerian men who were experts at this open-fire-cooked delicacy that’s much loved across the country. Much to my chagrin, after writing my cookbook Africana, I developed a nut allergy. I quickly turned to the closest nutty yet nut-free alternative: sesame seeds. The tahini (sesame paste) replaces peanut butter and the sesame seeds replace the peanuts.”

Loved this? Try Lerato’s smoky jollof rice recipe.

Nutrition: Per serving (for 6)

Calories
472kcals
Fat
33g (7.8g saturated)
Protein
37g
Carbohydrates
5.2g (4.5g sugars)
Fibre
3.9g
Salt
2.1g

Ingredients

  • 1.5kg chicken thighs
  • 1½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 tbsp white sesame seeds
  • Vegetable oil to brush
  • 2 romano red peppers, deseeded and quartered
  • 3 banana shallots, halved
  • Basil leaves to serve
  • Toasted sesame oil to drizzle (optional)

For the rub

  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic granules

For the marinade

  • 5 large garlic cloves
  • 4 tbsp tahini
  • 3 tbsp tomato purée
  • 250ml chicken or veg stock
  • 2 red chillies
  • Thumb-size piece ginger, chopped
  • ½ onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
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Method

  1. Cut slashes all over each piece of chicken and put in a large container. Season with salt, massaging it into all the nooks and crannies. Mix all the rub ingredients together.
  2. Put the marinade ingredients in a food processor or blender with 1 tbsp of the rub (reserve the rest). Whizz until smooth, then pour over the chicken and massage it in. Cover, put in the fridge and marinate for at least 2 hours (but ideally overnight).
  3. When ready to cook, heat the oven to 200°C fan/gas 7. Wash and drain the sesame seeds, then put them in a dry frying pan over a medium heat and toast for 3 minutes, stirring regularly, until golden brown. Pour the seeds into a bowl and mix in the remaining rub mixture.
  4. Brush a little oil over a baking tray or dish. Lift the chicken out of the marinade, shaking each piece to remove excess, then arrange on the tray, skin-side up. Sprinkle the spiced sesame seeds over the chicken. Brush the peppers and shallots with oil, tuck them around the chicken pieces, then put the tray in the oven and cook for 30-35 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the skin is golden.
  5. While the chicken roasts, pour the leftover marinade into a pan, add a splash of water to loosen and gently bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, season with salt and pepper, then serve as a dip with the chicken, scattered with basil and drizzled, if you like, with sesame oil.

Nutrition

Calories
472kcals
Fat
33g (7.8g saturated)
Protein
37g
Carbohydrates
5.2g (4.5g sugars)
Fibre
3.9g
Salt
2.1g

Buy ingredients online

Recipe By

Lerato Umah-Shaylor

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