Monday, January 31, 2011

Challenge recipe 2: Chilli, lime and chicken salad

It was stinking hot yesterday, it was even worse today, hitting 38 degrees in the 'berra. The trend is to continue for basically the whole week, with an increasing degree of humidity. Awesome... So I figured it was time to break out one of the salads that I'd flagged for my cookbook challenge. This is a crunchy, tangy salad that's a hell of a lot more exciting - not to mention healthier! - than my usual chicken salad. I made a couple of little changes to the recipe - I replaced watercress with lettuce, left out the two spring onions because I can't stand them raw, and made a little change to the dressing - but apart from that, this is as it appears in the book.

Speaking of which, this is the book:

It's one of the AWW's tiny cookbooks, and I think I got it at the newsagent for $5.00. Score!

Here's what you'll need for the salad:

Start by putting 1 cup of chicken stock and 1 cup of water into a saucepan. Bring it to the boil (and pay attention to it, or you'll find it erupting all over the stove like I did...), then reduce to a simmer and add 340g of trimmed chicken breast.

Simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked. Cool for five minutes, and then dice.

While the chicken is cooking, julienne the carrot:

And slice the capsicum thinly:

Then slice up the Chinese cabbage (also known as wombok)...

...and the iceberg lettuce (or, if you want to do it by the actual recipe, use 100g trimmed watercress):

Then dump all the veggies into a large salad bowl that you gave your housemate for Christmas and are now taking advantage of, and add 1/2 cup of chopped coriander...

...along with 3/4 cup of bean sprouts:

Toss the whole lot together, and start on the dressing. Here's what you'll need:

I forgot to take photos of making the dressing, because I was trying to work out if the chicken was cooked at the same time, but I'm sure you can work out how to make dressing. Take 1/4 cup of lime juice (limes are easier to juice if you stick them in the microwave for 10 seconds first!), add 2 tablespoons of sweet chilli sauce, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce (technically, the recipe calls for oyster sauce. But it makes me gag, so I switched it out...), 1 clove of crushed garlic, and 1 teaspoon of sesame oil.

Add the chicken to the top of the salad, and drizzle on the dressing:

Serve and enjoy! (Oh, it serves 4, btw)

The verdict? This was delicious. I was somewhat sceptical, given that in my mind "poached chicken = what you give Domino when he's sick and won't eat his dry food". Plus, I wasn't sure about the raw Chinese cabbage part of it. But it's just crunchy and fresh, with the tang of lime and the sweetness of honey from the chilli sauce. To be honest, if I made it again, I'd probably marinate the chicken in lime juice, and grill it with a little bit of spray oil rather than poaching it. But other than that (and the other few changes that I made...), it's all good.

And given that it contains less than 200 calories per serve, I think I can deal with adding an extra few calories to the recipe in the future. It's surprisingly filling too. At least, it is when you follow it up with a serving of homemade chocolate mousse... But that's challenge recipe number 3!

Give this a try in stupidly hot weather - you'll be glad you did!!

K xx


  1. This salad looks delish!
    I want to do a cookbook challenge - like you I have a few unused cookbooks! Maybe after the fashion challenge

  2. Yeah, I think one challenge at a time is probably enough to deal with!!


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