If you have a family like mine, you have to fight for the legs from the carcass of a roast chicken. Once the oysters are gone, always the spoils of the chef (cue guilty face) its a race for the brown meat at the bottom of the bird, which is cooked lapping against the meaty gravy and swimming candied onions.
The breast, usually the least flavoursome and juicy is always the last to go. Reserved for the most part for chicken sarnies and salads at the beginning of the week.
To put it plainly, I am not a fan of chicken breast, bar being parmesan crusted and schnitzelified, or poached and covered in a rich sauce, maybe shredded and tossed in a zingy dressing. Other then that I find it is at risk of being both stringy and bland. Regardless it is not to be wasted, so its all about a sauce packed with flavour… something sticky, tangy and altogether mouth smackingly tasty.
Here I have shredded the already cooked breast and refried in coconut oil to achieve the sort of shreds of crispy chicken (that any Chinese restaurant would be proud to serve,) before tossing it in a tamarind, spicy chilli and honey-laced sauce. Simply simmered until the sauce fully coats the meat, it is then tossed through a salad of fresh peppery rocket leaves, crunchy cabbage and creamy avocado which add a wonderful combination of complimentary tastes and textures to the dish.
For anyone on the hunt for some fresh lunch ideas, it can also be made ahead, assembled and munched on of a solo lunch, just as equally as served as an impressive dinner dish. You can use any leftover pork, turkey or shredded duck in place of chicken, depending on Sunday’s roast or leftovers you have at hand.
This was in fact not intended to be a shared recipe, but I enjoyed it so much I couldn’t not. The beautiful plate is also from Daisy Cooper Ceramics
Crispy Tamarind and Avocado Chicken Salad
If you don’t have cooked chicken to hand, simply substitute for a couple of roasted chicken thighs (cooked for 40 minutes in the oven at 180 degrees) or poached chicken breasts (if you are feeling lean) Instructions for this are below.
- 2 cooked chicken breasts, shredded
- 4 teaspoons tamarind paste
- 4 teaspoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon siracha chilli sauce
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- a pinch of sea salt
- 1/4 red cabbage, finely sliced
- 2 handfuls rocket
- 1/2 avocado, sliced
- a small handful fresh coriander leaves
Shred the cooked meat off the chicken legs, in large chunks and set aside.
Heat the coconut oil in a frying pan over a high heat. Swirl the oil around the bottom and add the chicken to the pan. Cook until the meat starts to turn crispy and golden.
Meanwhile add the tamarind paste, fish sauce, chilli sauce, honey and garlic to a small bowl and mix well. Once the chicken is looking golden and crisp, add the sauce to the pan and simmer for 3-4minutes until the sauce thickens and coats the meat. Set aside off the heat and let the meat cool slightly
Mix the grated ginger, honey, olive oil and lime in a large bowl with a pinch of sea salt. Place the cabbage, coriander, avocado and rocket in a large bowl and toss to lightly coat in the dressing.
Finally toss through the sticky tamarind chicken and serve.
*How to poach chicken breasts
Place the two chicken breasts in a small saucepan, add a big pinch, or two of salt and cover with water by two inches. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer over a low heat.The meat is cooked once opaque. this can take 7-9 minutes depending on the size of chicken breasts.
Once cooked remove the breasts from the saucepan and set aside on a plate to rest and cool.