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Melissa Hemsley’s Mum’s Filipino Chicken with Mango-Tomato Salsa

Quick, simple and tasty, Melissa Hemsley's Filipino chicken with a mango and tomato salsa is a perfect summer barbecue dish or midweek meal.

From the book

Melissa Hemsley


My mum calls this ‘any way chicken’ because you can make the chicken any way: I like cooking it in the oven (so I can forget about it); my mum likes to make it on the hob (to keep more of the sauce); and my boyfriend Henry likes grilling it on the barbecue (so it’s smoky and crispy). However you do it, I recommend making extra so that you can shred it into soups, wraps, noodles and salads later in the week. This sauce is fantastic in its own right and you’ll see it used with vegetables too. If you have time to marinate the chicken in the sauce overnight, go for it, but I often forget and just cook it straight away.

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4 large chicken thighs, skin on and bone in (about 600g)
sea salt and black pepper
2 spring onions, finely sliced at an angle, to serve
For the Filipino-style sauce:
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
2 tsp–1 tbsp fish sauce or 2 tsp extra tamari or soy sauce
2 tbsp (coconut) sugar or maple syrup
2 star anise
¼ tsp chilli flakes (or to taste)
For the mango-tomato salsa:
1 big handful of fresh coriander
100g cherry tomatoes, quartered
100g peeled ripe mango, pineapple or stone fruit, diced
2cm fresh ginger, finely grated
½ garlic clove, finely grated
1 jalapeño or other chilli, deseeded and diced
juice of 1½ limes
4 spring onions or 1 small red onion, finely diced
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
A dash of hot sauce (optional)


Preheat the oven to fan 220°C/gas mark 9. If using a barbecue, get it going now.

Mix all the sauce ingredients together. Place the chicken thighs in an ovenproof dish big enough to arrange the pieces about 2cm apart (but not so big that you lose all the sauce as it cooks off in the oven), then add the sauce, coating each piece of chicken well in the mixture and leave for a few minutes, if you like.

Place the chicken thighs skin-side up in the dish, sprinkle a little salt and pepper over each one and roast for 25 minutes or until well cooked and the juices run clear when pierced with a knife.

Meanwhile, make the salsa. Roughly chop the leaves of the coriander and finely chop the stalks, then add to a serving bowl with all the other ingredients, mix together well and leave to sit for 20 minutes (while the chicken is cooking).

Serve the chicken scattered with the spring onions and with the salsa on the side.


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From the book: Feel Good: Quick and Easy Recipes for Comfort and Joy

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