Monday, May 24, 2010

Yes, yes I do need that!

There are, admittedly, many kitchen gadgets that just take up space awkwardly and serve no useful purpose. However, none of those are in my kitchen, despite what the naysayers yammer on about. What prompted this post? My beloved mango slicer from Oxo! Yes, it does look odd, however it is perfectly designed to cut a swath around the seed of the mango, leaving me with only the luscious fruit inside. I love summer when mangoes appear with such abundance; I have smoothies, I make Indian-esque curries and soups and, let's be honest- I eat it plain, right off the skin. It is just sooo yummy. And when I made chicken salad with mangoes, it was just the perfect summer lunch; it was also gfree & dairy free! So even though I didn't beat the mongering hordes to grab any pictures (apologies, I really do need to practice that) I thought I would post the recipe for the blog to balance out all my sweet recipes. It is adapted from Nigella Lawson's Forever Summer cookbook (yes, yes I do really like her) and is perfect for leftover chicken; in fact, that is how she presents the recipe and called it Golden Jubilee chicken salad (for the year of creation, not because the Queen ate it. Although, she should, it is that good). I, however, feel it is totally and completely worthy of roasting chicken for! So that is what I did, and I am fairly sure you will agree once you have eaten this.

I also posted this on Slightly Indulgent Tuesday

Spicy Mango Chicken Salad

7-8 chicken breasts (I did boneless skinless, as that was what was on sale.)
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons safflower oil (or oil of your choice)
3-4 mangoes (or more if you are a mango lover)
1-2 serrano chiles (or more if you like really spicy)
1 teaspoon coconut sap sugar (this could be omitted, but I like the bit of flavor it adds, plus it helps macerate the fruit; do as you will)
7-8 limes (yes, I know this is LOTS of lime juice, but you will be drizzling oil over)
3/4 cup cilantro, chopped (cilantro seems to be divisive, so adjust quantities as you will. but the flavor is marvelous, so please just don't edit it out. unless you are allergic/intolerant)
Small head of butter lettuce (or your leafy green of choice)
Additional Oil for drizzling.

Preheat oven to 350 degreesF.

In a skillet over medium/high heat, add spices and stir til everything is smelling aromatic, maybe 1 minute or so. Now add the 2 tablespoons of oil & whisk together. Have your chicken breasts in a roasting pan, 9 x 13 Pyrex, whatever you are roasting them in. Brush the chicken with the spice/oil mixture, evenly coating all the breasts. Bake them for 35-40 minutes, til the are done, registering 170 degrees on your thermometer (which is my favorite kitchen gadget evah! I <3 thermo pen).
At this point, I cover the chicken and stick in the refrigerator overnight. Then when I am ready to serve salad I combine the fruit and chicken; however, feel free to cool the chicken down and do this all in one setting.
Now I use my much adored Oxo mango slicer and pit my mangoes, then chop them into rough squares, putting them in a large bowl. Chop the Serrano chile(s); if you like heat, leave the seeds, if not then seed the chiles as well and add to mangoes. Add the coconut sap sugar. Squeeze all the lime juice over the mangoes & chiles. Stir to combine. Now, at this point I usually put a cover my bowl and put in the refrigerator overnight as I like to let the flavor combination develop; again, feel free to carry on with out this.
Now, that the chicken is cold, chop it into rough cubes. Add to the mango mixture and toss/stir well to combine. Add the cilantro and stir again. Now, divide your butter lettuce (which I use since I agree with Nigella in that it pairs beautifully with the aggressive flavors of chicken & mangoes, but do as you will) onto however many plates you are using. Scoop out the chicken salad onto the bed of lettuce and drizzle just a bit of oil over the top (Nigella used peanut or sesame, but for those with allergies choose wisely). This serves 8-10 (I am really not joking about the mongering hordes) but also keep well for a day or two, so is good for leftovers.

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