Thursday, 4 March 2010

Grilled Chicken and Mango Salad

I love meaty complex salads. I love the freshness of a salad for lunch that is also substantial enough to keep me going throughout the afternoon. I was browsing through the January edition of recipes+ and found a recipe for a Grilled Chicken and Mango Salad. What made this stand out from all the other chicken and mango salads out there was that the chicken was marinated in a yoghurt/korma curry paste mixture and there was a yoghurt/mint dressing.

I was intriged by this combination of flavours and had to give it a try. I was dubious about the addition of rice because I've had problems with making rice the night before to eat chilled the next day, it tends to go very hard. I have been told that if I use my rice cooker and add a little bit of extra water that this won't happen so I gave that a try.

I loved the yoghurt/korma curry paste chicken marinade. The chicken came out lovely and tender and so flavourful. D tasted some and asked if we could have chicken like that again. It wasn't particularly spicy hot, it just had a beautiful rich flavour. Very nice. I also liked the yoghurt/mint dressing. I didn't have any fresh coriander so I added some coriander from a Gourmet Garden tube to the dressing mix. It worked quite well.

What didn't work for me was the grilled mango. Grilling the mango made it quite limp and droopy and the texture became more stringy. I love fresh mango chunks in salad, but I didn't like this. If I make it again, I won't grill the mango. I also found that with the mango and the yoghurt/mint dressing the salad was quite sweet and the pepperyness of the rocket and watercress couldn't really overcome that. Salt did, but I don't want to have to add a lot of salt to my dishes to cut through sweetness. I loved the idea of the salad but I think I would need to really work on the balance of flavours if I make it again.

Grilled Chicken and Mango Salad
adapted from recipes+ Magazine, January 2010

2 tbs korma curry paste
1/2 cup natural Greek-style yoghurt, plus 1/4 cup extra
550g chicken thigh fillets
1/4 cup mint sauce
2 tsp minced coriander
1 large ripe mango, peeled, cut into thick slices
Olive oil cooking spray
2 cups cooked basmati rice, cooled
100g baby spinach leaves (I also used some rocket and watercress)
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 Lebanese cucumber, seeded, sliced diagonally
Lime or lemon wedges, to serve

Combine curry patse and yoghurt in a medium glass or ceramic bowl. Add chicken and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 20 minutes to marinate.

Combine extra yoghurt, mint sauce and coriander in a small bowl. Chill until required.

Preheat a char-grill or barbecue to high. Spray mango with oil. Cook for 30 seconds each side or until golden. Transfer to a heatproof plate. Spray chicken with oil and add to grill. Cook for 3-4 minutes each side or until cooked. Transfer to a heatproof plate, cover with foil and rest for 5 minutes. Slice thinly.

Combine rice, spinach, onion and cucumber in a large bowl. Place mixture on a large flat serving platter. Arrange chicken and mango over salad. Drizzle with yoghurt mixture and serve with lime wedges.

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