Recipe: Zesty chicken salad

This quick-to-prepare, fruity salad is always a hit, and stretches a few chicken breasts a long way. Poaching the chicken gently keeps it tender; and dressing it while warm keeps it moist and packed with zingy flavour. You can also make it with leftover cooked chicken. It looks pretty piled on salad leaves. Serve with crusty bread to mop up.

Serves 4-5 as a light lunch.

Ingredients

● 50g raisins or sultanas
● 3-4 skinned chicken breasts
● Vegetable bouillon/chicken stock cube (optional)
● Zest and juice of 1 large lemon
● 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
● 10 - 15g caster sugar
● 4 tbsp flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
● 150 - 200g bag of salad leaves or one large Romaine lettuce, leaves separated and torn into pieces
● Olive oil, a squeeze of lemon and a handful of toasted flaked almonds (optional) to serve

Method

● Put the chicken in a pan and cover with cold water. Add the bouillon or stock as per the pack instructions. Poach gently for approximately 15 – 20 minutes until just done.
● Soak the sultanas in boiling water for at least 20 minutes, then drain.
● Drain the chicken and while still warm, cut or tear it into large, bite-sized pieces.
● In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, oil, lemon juice and zest. Season with salt, pepper and more sugar if needed. Add the chicken & sultanas. Mix gently. Taste and season again.
● When cooled slightly, mix in 3 tablespoons of the chopped parsley. Refrigerate if not serving immediately. Take out of the fridge about 30 minues before serving to allow it to come up to room temperature.
● Dress the leaves lightly in a little olive oil and lemon juice. Put on a platter and pile the chicken on top garnished with the chopped parsley and toasted almonds if wished.

Last updated: 10:56am, August 1 2011