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Ixta Belfrage’s chicken with pineapple and ‘nduja recipe

The perfect mix of sweet and savoury.

“There is no greater union than that of pork and pineapple,” says Ixta Belfrage.

“The pork here comes in the form of ’nduja, a spreadable chilli-spiked sausage from Calabria. Add chicken, pineapple, chipotle and tangerine to the mix and you’ve got yourself a party.”

In this recipe, Belfrage uses tangerines instead of oranges but says you can use either that’s available – as long as you use fresh fruit juice, not from a carton. If your fruit isn’t that sweet, she recommends adding some maple syrup or honey when you add the stock or water.

Chicken with pineapple and ‘nduja recipe


(Serves 4)

  • 4 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs, at room temperature

  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed with the side of a knife

  • 1 medium onion, halved and very thinly sliced on a mandolin

  • ½ large, extra-ripe pineapple, peeled (300g)

  • 4 sweet tangerines (or 2 oranges), squeezed to get 100g juice

  • 100g chicken bone broth, stock or water

  • 2tbsp double cream

  • 5g fresh coriander

  • 1 lime, cut into wedges

  • For the ’Nduja and chipotle paste:

  • 50g ’nduja paste/spread

  • 2tbsp olive oil

  • 2tsp tomato puree/paste

  • ½tsp chipotle flakes

  • ½tsp paprika

  • ¾tsp fine salt

  • About 20 twists of freshly ground black pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C fan/200°C.

2. Put all the ingredients for the paste into a large bowl and mix together. Add the chicken, garlic and three-quarters of the sliced onion and mix well so everything is coated evenly. Tip the onions and garlic into a 28cm ovenproof cast-iron skillet or similar-sized baking dish and spread out. Place the chicken thighs on top, skin side up and spaced apart.

3. Cut the pineapple into four rounds, then cut each round into quarters, removing the hard core (you should have about 300g). Add the pineapple to the bowl with the remnants of the paste, mix to coat with whatever’s left there, then arrange the pineapple around the chicken.

4. Pour the tangerine juice around the chicken (don’t get the skin wet), then bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and pour the stock or water into the pan around the chicken (again, don’t get the skin wet). Return to the oven for another 20–25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the skin is browned and crispy. If you have a blowtorch, use it to char the pineapple a little.

5. Drizzle the cream into the sauce. Toss the coriander and the remaining sliced onions together with a tiny bit of oil and salt and arrange on top. Serve from the pan, with the lime wedges alongside.

Mezcla: Recipes To Excite by Ixta Belfrage is published by Ebury Press, priced £26. Photography by Yuki Sugiura. Available now.


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