CHICKEN, STRAWBERRY AND CANDIED PECAN SALAD WITH SATAY DRESSING
Prep time 15 minutes Cooking time 45 minutes Serves 8
1 large lettuce, shredded 2 avocados, diced 3 small cucumbers, diced 1 punnet strawberries, sliced A squeeze of fresh lemon juice FOR THE CHICKEN: 1kg boneless, skinless chicken breast, butterflied 1 tbsp garlic paste ½ tbsp ginger paste 1 tbsp green chilli paste 1 tsp salt 2 tbsp sunflower oil FOR THE SATAY DRESSING: ½ cup smooth peanut butter 1 can coconut milk 2 tbsp Sriracha 2 tbsp honey 3 tbsp fresh lime juice ½ onion, chopped 3 tbsp soy sauce 1 tsp garlic paste ½ tsp ginger paste ¼ cup fresh coriander, chopped FOR THE CANDIED PECANS: 1½ tbsp brown sugar A pinch of salt A few drops vanilla essence 1½ tsp water 1 cup pecan nuts, halved
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the chicken breasts in a bowl. Add the garlic, ginger, chilli paste, salt and sunflower oil. Mix thoroughly with your hands to combine. Arrange the chicken in a single layer in a roasting pan. Cover the pan with foil and place in the oven for about 40 minutes. In the meantime, make the dressing. Combine all the ingredients for the dressing except the coriander in a saucepan set over a medium heat. Bring to the boil until everything is combined. Add the chopped coriander. Transfer the mixture to a blender and pulse until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a small jug and set aside. To make the candied pecans, combine the brown sugar, salt, vanilla and water in a small bowl. It doesn’t matter if the sugar and salt don’t completely dissolve. Line a baking tray with parchment. Toast the pecan halves in a dry pan for 1 to 2 minutes until their aroma is released. Add the sugar mixture to the pan and stir constantly until all the nuts are coated, about 15 seconds. Transfer the nuts to the lined baking tray, spreading them out as much as you can (if some stick together, you can always break them apart once they have cooled). Allow them to cool completely. The longer you leave them, the harder the coating will be. Take the chicken out of the oven and remove from the liquid. Allow to cool, then shred thickly using your hands. Place all of your cut vegetables, strawberries, chicken and candied pecans in a salad bowl. I like to place them in separate sections of the bowl – they look prettier that way. Squeeze over some lemon to prevent the veggies from browning. Dress the salad once your guests arrive and toss through.
If you thought a salad could never have a starring role at the table, get ready to be surprised by this fresh and fruity combination that’s packed with flavour and texture.
Michael Aram pie dish Dh850