1. Rub a little salt and pepper into the chicken thighs and drumsticks. Warm a large frying pan (or casserole dish if you’re making the dish in the oven, or see our tip overleaf on what to do if you don’t have a casserole dish) over a medium-high heat for 2 mins, then add 1 tbsp oil and the chicken thighs (skin-side down) and drumsticks. Fry for 15 mins, turning once, till the chicken pieces are golden brown all over. If your pan isn’t quite big enough to fit all the chicken pieces, fry them in 2 separate batches.
2. While the chicken fries, peel and finely chop the onions. Trim and finely slice the celery. Halve the peppers, scoop out the seeds and white pith, and roughly chop them. Coarsely grate the courgette. From this point on, follow either the method for the slow cooker, or the oven.
3. In the slow cooker:
Lift the chicken out of the frying pan. Add it to a 3½ ltr slow cooker, along with the onions, celery, peppers and courgette.
4. Peel and finely chop the garlic and scoop it into the slow cooker. Halve the chilli, if you’re using it, and scoop out the seeds and white pith for less heat (or leave them in for more heat). Finely chop the chilli and add it to the slow cooker. Finely grate in the zest from the lime and squeeze in the juice.
5. Add 1 tsp dried oregano and 2 tsp ground cumin. Crumble in the stock cube. Tip in the chopped tomatoes, then half-fill the tin with water (around 200ml) and pour that in. Gently stir to mix.
6. Pop on the lid, set the slow cooker to medium and cook for 6 hrs. Alternatively, set to high and cook for 4-5 hrs or go for a slower cook at 8-10 hrs on low.
7. When the chicken has 30 mins left to go, rinse the rice under cold water and tip it into a medium pan. Pour in 600ml boiling water. Add a pinch of salt, cover and bring to the boil. Turn the heat right down and cook for 8-10 mins till the water has been absorbed. Take off the heat and set the pan aside for 5-10 mins, lid on, to finish cooking the rice.
8. Taste the chicken sauce and add a pinch of salt and pepper if you think it needs it. Fluff the rice with a fork and divide between 4 warm bowls. Top with the chicken and veg. Garnish with the coriander leaves and serve.
9. In the oven:
Heat your oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4. Lift the chicken out of the dish and set it aside on a plate. Add the onions, celery, peppers and courgette to the dish with 4 tbsp water. Fry, stirring, for 10 mins till the veg have softened and browned.
10. While the veg cook, peel and finely chop the garlic. Halve the chilli, if you’re using it, and scoop out the seeds and white pith for less heat (or leave them in for more heat). Finely chop the chilli. Finely grate the zest from the lime.
11. Stir the garlic, chilli and lime zest into the veg. Add 1 tsp dried oregano and 2 tsp ground cumin. Cook and stir for 1 min, then add the chicken pieces back to the casserole dish and tip in any juices from the plate. Crumble in the stock cube. Tip in the tin of chopped tomatoes and pour in 800ml cold water.
12. Pop a lid on the dish and slide it into the oven. Bake for 2 hrs, till the chicken is very tender.
13. When the chicken casserole has 30 mins left to cook, follow the instructions to cook the rice.
14. Squeeze the juice from the lime into the chicken. Taste the chicken and add a pinch more salt and pepper if you think it needs it. Fluff the rice with a fork and divide between 4 warm bowls. Top with the chicken, veg and garnish with coriander leaves to serve.