Fresh, sharp and summery, you can’t go wrong with adding a citrus twist to your cooking no matter what time of year it is.
Coconut, lime and lemon-grass chicken salad (Serves 4)
For the chicken
1 tbsp coconut oil
6 boneless chicken thighs or 4 breasts, skin on
4 garlic cloves, finely sliced
2 thin slices of fresh root ginger, peeled and chopped
3 lemon-grass stalks, outer leaves discarded, finely chopped
1 x 400ml tin/1 cup coconut milk
Finely grated zest and juice of
2 lime leaves, shredded (optional)
1 tbsp fish sauce
Sea salt and crushed white peppercorns
Handfuls of mint, coriander and basil, to serve
For the salad
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 shallots, finely sliced
1 large carrot, peeled and julienned
1 large courgette, julienned
100g cups cauliflower florets, finely sliced
Small bunch of radishes, finely sliced
Bunch of spring onions, finely sliced on the diagonal
For the dressing
Small piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
1 red chilli, finely chopped
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp fish sauce
First prepare the chicken.
Heat the coconut oil in a large, shallow pan and add the chicken, skin side down. Fry on a medium to high heat until the skin is crisp and brown, then turn over.
Add the garlic, ginger and lemon-grass, then pour the coconut milk around the chicken.
Add the lime zest and juice, the lime leaves (if using), and the peppercorns, and season with the fish sauce and some salt.
Reduce the heat and leave to simmer, uncovered so the sauce reduces, until the chicken is cooked through, around 15 minutes.
Remove the chicken. Strain the sauce and reserve.
To assemble the salad, heat the vegetable oil in a small pan and fry the shallots quite briskly until they are translucent and well browned.
Remove to drain on some kitchen paper and set aside.
Arrange the raw vegetables over a large plate or platter.
Slice or shred the chicken, skin included, and add to the vegetables.
Whisk all the dressing ingredients together with 4 tablespoons of the reserved cooking sauce, and pour over the salad.
Sprinkle with the herbs and the fried shallots.
Picture: Mowie Kay
Citrus: Recipes that celebrate the sour and the sweet by Catherine Phipps (R395 on Loot.co.za)