I know, I know, it’s Winter and I’m preparing salad!! This week I had a friend round for supper and wanted to prepare something light, super healthy and a tad refined. Mwah. This little salad fitted the bill perfectly – it packs loads of flavour and the spicy hit from the chilli dressing is plenty warming.
I must confess that I did have a few stray vegetables hanging out on my bench top that weren’t in the original meal plan, which I incorporated into the salad, but this is a blog about food waste reduction….
The prep time for this simple dish might put you off, but don’t let it – the actual preparation of the salad takes about 20 minutes tops, the rest of the time is taken up poaching the chicken, which in itself is a set and forget job.
See this dish as part of a MEAL PLAN
Prep time: 4 hours
1 whole free-range chicken
3 tbsp miso paste
2 cups chopped spinach leaves
1/2 cup red cabbagae
1 cup sliced cucumber
1 spring onion (garnish only)
1 cm piece ginger
1 clove garlic
6 black peppercorns
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp boiling water
1 tbsp sushi vinegar (mirin)
oil for frying
There are many and varied ways of poaching chicken – I take the easiest and lowest effort route, however, this article takes you through other methods if you want to do your research before having a go.
My method is: In a large saucepan place the whole chicken breast side down. Fill the pot with cold water until it just covers the chicken. Add in a piece of ginger, 2 tbsp miso paste, 1 clove garlic, plenty of salt and about 6 black peppercorns. Over a medium-high heat bring everything to the boil. Once you have reached a rolling boil turn the heat down as low as it will go and place a lid on. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Then simply turn the heat off, keep the lid on and leave it to cool down with the chicken inside. You need to leave the chicken in the pot for at least an hour, but you can leave it longer.
Preparing the chicken skin: Again, there are multiple ways of doing this. You can either remove the skin from the chicken before poaching, glaze with 1 tbsp of miso plaste, place on a wire rack in a hot (200 degrees C) oven for 20 minutes. OR, roast the skin after it has been poached. I prefer to roast the skin from raw as it is slightly crispier.
To make the chilli dressing simply finely chop the chilli and garlic, fry in a little oil for about 30 seconds before adding in the brown sugar, water and vinegar. Cook this down over a low heat for 2-3 minutes. Allow to cool.
Preparing the salad is the easiest bit. Wash and chop the spinach and place in a large mixing bowl and liberally coat it with the cooled chilli dressing. Next, cut the radishes into thin slices and the cabbage and cucumber into long thin strips. Place them in a separate bowl with a teaspoon of vinegar and combine well. Slice up the avocado into thick chunks.
Finally take out the poached chicken and slice up 1 breast – this is plenty for two people. Assemble the salad!
Crispy fried ginger slices.
Toasted sesame seeds
Enjoy a hot cup of miso soup alongside the salad for extra winter warmth.