Shelf Love, the new cookbook from the Ottolenghi Test Kitchen, focuses on comfort food made from pantry staples, along with Yotam Ottolenghi’s signature additions, such as tasty spice blends and novel flavour pairings. This recipe uses berbere — an Ethiopian spice blend — as the basis of a paste that coats chicken pieces, carrots and chickpeas. Bake the dish for about 70 minutes and top with an orange-cilantro salsa.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Make sure the spices don’t contain colour or anti-caking agents. I used No Name tomato paste, Blue Menu chickpeas, Allen’s apple cider vinegar and pure honey.

Berbere is an Ethiopian spice blend

Place chicken, carrots and chickpeas in pan and cover with spice paste

Roast until chicken is done and carrots are tender

Serve the chicken with an orange-cilantro salsa

Berbere-spiced chicken, carrots and chickpeas


Berbere spice mix

8 teaspoons (40 ml) pure chile powder (ground dried red hot peppers) or 2 tablespoons (30 ml) cayenne pepper

5 teaspoons (25 ml) sweet paprika

1 tablespoon (15 ml) salt

1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground coriander

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) ground ginger

3/8 teaspoon (1.9 ml) ground cardamom

3/8 teaspoon (1.9 ml) ground fenugreek

¼ teaspoon (1.25) ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) ground allspice

1/8 teaspoon (0.63 ml) ground cloves

Chicken, carrots and chickpeas

1 onion large, peeled and roughly chopped

6 cloves garlic peeled and roughly chopped

1.5 oz (45 g) coriander stalks (0.9 oz/25g) and leaves (0.6 oz/20g) separated, and both roughly chopped

2.5 tbsp (22.5 ml) berbere spice

2.5 tbsp (22.5 ml) tomato paste

2.5 tbsp (22.5 ml) honey

3 tbsp (45 ml) apple cider vinegar

6 tbsp (90 ml) olive oil

1.75 lb (800 g) carrots cut into 1.5-2-inch (4-5 cm) lengths

2 15-oz (425 g) canned chickpeas, drained

12 chicken thighs and drumsticks (6 of each)

3 oranges – 1 left whole, the others juiced, to get ½ cup/125 ml


Berbere spice mix

Mix all ingredients together. Store in airtight container. Makes 1/3 cup (82.5 ml).

Chicken, carrots and chickpeas

Heat the oven to 425 F (220 C). Put the onion, garlic, coriander stalks, berbere spice, tomato paste, honey, a tablespoon (15 ml) of vinegar, four tablespoons (60 ml) of oil, 1.75 tsp (8.75 ml) salt and a good grind of pepper in a food processor and blitz to a smooth paste.

Scrape this into a large, roughly 13-inch x 10-inch (34-cm x 26-cm) roasting pan and add the carrots, chickpeas, chicken, orange juice and 6 oz (150 ml) water. Toss everything together to coat and combine, then arrange the thighs skin side up on top, so they’re just nestled in the mix.

Tightly cover the tray with foil, bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for 40 minutes more, rotating the pan once halfway, until everything is cooked through and nicely coloured. Remove from the oven and leave to settle slightly for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, segment the whole orange and roughly chop the flesh. Put this in a medium bowl with the coriander leaves, the last two tablespoons (30 ml) each of vinegar and oil, 1/8 teaspoon (0.63 ml) of salt and a good grind of pepper and mix to combine.To serve, spoon the coriander salsa all over the top of the chicken and serve directly from the pan. Serves 6.

From Shelf Love by the Ottolenghi Test Kitchen