Spiced chicken salad with bite (#38)

This is the first time I’ve eaten something that can be called a salad and I’ve thought ‘I’m enjoying this’.

As unfair to salads as that opening line was – I promise that I do love my veg – I question those that eat salads in any capacity other than as a starter to a larger meal. But I’m prejudiced in favour of hearty cuisine. Nevertheless, this one has bite. Watercress, radish, fennel. The flavours here are bold and exciting. Even if it doesn’t fill you up, it’ll definitely keep you interested.

Thanks goes to Simply Nigella for this one.

Good things: a salad that engages the senses.

Bad things: it’s still food for a dieter.

Ingredients & requirements: serves 2 (or me)

  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon of sunflower oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 6 radishes
  • 50g watercress
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt flakes
  • 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 lime

Other things you’ll need: resealable freezer bags and a rolling pin.

Preparation & cooking

  1. Preparation for the chicken:
    1. Line a chopping board with clingfilm (quite a decent amount)
    2. Half the chicken breast. Put one half on the clingfilm, cover with the clingfilm, beat with a rolling pin until flattened. Set aside and do the same with the other half.
  2. Marinate the chicken. In a resealable freezer bag put together the following ingredients and leave to marinate for 10 mins:
    1. 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar
    2. 2 tablespoon of sunflower oil
    3. 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
    4. 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
    5. 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne
    6. the 2 flattened chicken pieces
  3. Prepare the salad:
    1. Halve the fennel bulb, cut out the core and thinly slice
    2. Thinly slice the 6 radishes
    3. Put the 50g of watercress into a large bowl, with the fennel & radish slices and the 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt flakes and 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. Toss together with your hands.
    4. Divide between two plates.
  4. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a frying pan. When hot, add both flattened chicken pieces and cook for 2 mins either side. Check they’re done. Half the lime and squeeze the juice from one half over the chicken. Then add the pieces to the dish.
  5. You can also cut the remaining half lime into quarters and add to the dish for serving if you fancy.

Reflections:

As I say, a very enjoyable salad. I love the the texture, I love the tickling of the taste buds. For what must only take 15-20 mins to make (absolute max), it’s a bit of a treat.

I can imagine assembling on a Sunday afternoon, having one then, and taking the other one into work the next day. I must admit, I have yet to put in motion such a sensible (and restrained) plan.

Now, Nigella…. no, that’s not fair. Now, this blog has encouraged me to purchase basically all of the vinegars. I understand you might balk at this, but I love having them and if you experiment with your cooking like me they do get used eventually. I used cider vinegar in this recipe, but Nigella used rice vinegar.

Other than this, you should hopefully have the other spices and oils already in your cupboard, meaning all you have to buy is the fresh necessaries (chicken, fennel, radish, watercress and lime). In short, a meal for two should be do-able for between £4-£5.

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