Impress your family with this rich, creamy, one pan dish

This slow-cooked chicken with a crispy corn crust was an absolute winner during staycation.

PREP TIME: 15 mins
COOKING TIME: 1.5 – 2 hrs (slow cook)
IDEAL FOR: family, crowd-pleaser

Times they are a changin’

I used to work on Fashion Street, E1, just by The City (London).

And when we first arrived in our ‘new’ office from Whitechapel, the area was pretty grungy.

On one side we had the famous Brick Lane

Want a curry, that’s your street.

And on the other side were some proper old school London pubs

We’re talking sticky red carpets, dartboards, a bit smelly.

And I loved it.

We also happened to be sharing our building with the pretty out-there-artists of the time, Tracy Emin and The Chapman Brothers.

(and their cool dogs, one was a black staffie called Kylie, whom I loved)

Back then there was no Shoreditch High Street overground.

No Pret-a-manger, Starbucks, sushi, craft beer, trendy markets, etc

It was a bit down and dirty with little surprises of witty, poignant graffiti from an up-and-coming artist… yes, Banksy.

The sweet spot

But like any area in London, the hipsters or the city-boys or the farrow-and-ball-gang start moving in.

The artists slowly disappear.

And before you can blink, the dreaded chains begin to move in.

But there’s always a sweet spot in this transformation.

Just between slightly-edgy-a-bit-unsafe-after-dark to still grungy-but-new-cool-independents popping up.

You’ll get the cool little coffee shop with lovingly made real coffee.

A new epic sandwich shop with actual fresh ingredients.

And the pub that was dying or closed, suddenly has a gentle scrub from new owners but they keep it original.

This is the best momnent in time.

You get to know the owners and it feels like a real community.

But this sweet spot never lasts.

Like all great cities, things keep evolving and this area really started to boom.

We started to get craft beers on tap (TBH, I never complained about that evolution).

And incredible new restaurants opening up like Dishoom, The Boundary.

And Ottolenghi.

Ottolenghi Spitalfields

This opened up a lot later on and was nestled down Artillery Passage.

Quietly sitting between The City dwellers.

And the Shoreditch hipsters (that we were becoming – mon dieu).

And it was tasty!

From this experience, a friend bought one of his cookbooks.

And we tried to make some of his delicious salads.

But man, they were complicated.

I gave up.

Until I discovered his Simple cookbook.

And I can’t recommend it highly enough.

The recipes are uncomplicated (although sometimes you may need to track down a spice or mix that isn’t a bog-standard spice).

And they are delicious.

I tried out this slow-cooked chicken with a crispy corn crust during the family staycation.

And even the Gunstone Grandparents raved about it.

Which is a very good ‘thumbs-up’ for any cook.

slow cooked chicken with corn crust recipe
Slow-cooked chicken with corn crust – The Grandparents gave it a big thumbs up

Slow-cooked chicken with a crispy corn crust

This slow-cooked chicken is packed full of flavour.

And the crust is a batter which is rich, light… and corny.

But it isn’t heavy because it has no flour in it.

Which is a genius idea instead of having heavy mashed potatoes alongside (or on top).

Or a heavy cornbread crust.

The other fab thing about this recipe.

You can make it in advance… and freeze it if you want.

Then you just make the corn batter on the day and et voila!

Like all great slow-cooking, the chicken thighs will fall apart at the touch of a fork.

And the rich, dark sauce will keep people coming back for more.

This is serious comfort food.

But in my opinion, you can have it at any time of the year.

And your friends and family will be very happy.

So, enjoy.

PS. if you want another lovely family one-pan chicken dish.

Then check out the deliocus roast chicken, sage and onion traybake

Recipe from Ottolenghi Simple

Slow-cooked chicken with a crispy corn crust

Course Main Course
Keyword chicken, one pot meal, slow cooking
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author Ottolenghi recipe
Cost £



  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 red onions, thinly sliced (500g) (I only had white & it's fine)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 tsp rose harissa (60g)
  • 2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 850 g chicken thighs, skinless and boneless (or 9-10 thighs)
  • 200 ml passata
  • 5 large tomatoes, quartered (400g)
  • 200 g jarred roasted red peppers, drained and cut into 2cm thick rounds
  • 15 g dark chocolate
  • 20 g coriander, roughly chopped
  • salt and black pepper

Corn batter crust

  • 70 g unsalted butter, melted
  • 500 g corn kernels, fresh or frozen and defrosted (shaved corn kernels from 4 large corn cobs, if starting from fresh) (I used canned corn)
  • 3 tbsp whole milk
  • 3 eggs, yolks and whites separated



  • In a large oven proof pan (with a lid), heat the oil on a medium – high heat and add the onions. Cook for for 8–9 mins, until caramelised and soft.
    Now, reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic, harissa, paprika, chicken, 1 tsp of salt and a good grind of black pepper.
    Then cook for 5 mins, stirring frequently. Add the passata and tomatoes.
    Pour over 350ml of water, bring to the boil, then simmer on a medium heat, covered, for 30 mins, stirring every once in a while.
  • Next, add the peppers and chocolate and simmer for another 35-40mins (with no lid), stirring frequently, until the sauce starts to get thick and the chicken begins to fall a part.
    Remove from the heat and stir in the coriander. 
    *NB: if you want, you can serve the dish as is i.e. without the crust*
  • If you're doing the batter (I'd recommend it), then preheat the oven to 180°C fan.

Corn batter crust

  • Pour the butter into a blender with the corn, milk, egg yolks and ¾ tsp salt.
    Blitz for a few seconds, to form a rough paste, then spoon into a large bowl.
    Place the egg whites in a separate clean bowl and whisk to form firm peaks.
    Fold these gently into the runny corn mixture until just combined, then pour the mix evenly over the chicken.
  • Bake for 35 mins, until the top is golden-brown.
    (Keep an eye on it after 25 mins to make sure the top is not taking on too much colour: you might need to cover it with tin foil for the final 10 mins).
  • Serve!