Cook up a storm with this great fitness recovery meal

Why is it good for you? Gluten-free and tasty, quinoa is pretty much a nutritional superhero . It has a low glycaemic index to keep you fuller for longer and sustain energy levels, it’s packed with protein to keep your muscles healthy, and is rich in heart-friendly fats, flavonoids, vitamin E, anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and iron. And while all that is great, it is also the perfect partner for this warming and highly nutritious tagine.

Combined, it’s ideal for muscle recovery and replenishing depleted glycogen stores. If you’re training intensively at the moment, why not make this to impress your running buddies after a long Sunday run?

Prep Time: 15 Mins Cook Time: 40 Mins


  • 300g quinoa
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds, dry roasted and crushed in a pestle and mortar
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds, dry roasted and crushed in a pestle and mortar
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 8 free range chicken thighs, trimmed of skin and fat
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, peeled and finely sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • Approx 600g fennel, cut lengthways (keep the green feathery fronds) 750ml chicken stock (or enough to cover the chicken)
  • Zest and juice of one large lemon
  • 2 handfuls of pitted olives, green or black
  • Large bunch (50g) fresh flat-leaf parsley


  1. Mix the flour with the salt, pepper and spices on a large plate. Coat the chicken thighs in the spice mix.
  2. Heat the olive oil in the tagine dish and gently sauté the onion for about 5 minutes, until soft and translucent. Move the onion to the side of the dish and add the chicken. Brown for about five minutes and then turn over to brown the other side for a couple of minutes.
  3. Add any leftover spice mix and the garlic. Slot the fennel around the chicken and then pour over the chicken stock. Scatter the lemon zest over the top and add the lemon juice. Cover and simmer gently for about 40 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
  4. Uncover and turn up the heat to reduce the sauce a little. Add the olives and warm through. Taste for seasoning and add the parsley. Meanwhile, prepare the quinoa according the instructions on the pack.

Serve with the tagine in deep warmed bowls, with the fennel fronds scattered over.

Kate Percy is passionate about the link between good eating and better performance. Her bestselling books, Go Faster Food (£12.99), Go Faster Food for Kids, (£16.99), and FuelSmart for Race Day (£3.99) bring top sports nutrition advice to life with delicious recipes to help athletes fulfil their potential. They’re available on, in bookstores, or get a signed copy from her website at