Sunday, January 1, 2012

Laid Back Marinated Chicken

For a quick and easy but lip-smacking meal these chicken breasts are just the trick. The marinade takes seconds and the cooking just minutes. It’s quick, healthy and gorgeous – winner winner chicken dinner.

I think this is best accompanied by my Third Date Mango Salad so the instructions below show you how to time it with the preparation of that dish. Obviously if you’re not making the salad on the side, skip these parts of the recipe.

This dish is so laid back, I can’t even be bothered to write any more about it.

Time: 30 mins (5 mins prep, 15 mins marinating, 10 mins cooking)
Rating: So simple, a monkey could cook this
Serves 2

2 Chicken breasts
2tbsp soy sauce
1tbsp clear honey
1 tsp balsamic

  1. If you are serving chicken alongside the salad, you need to get your chicken marinating before you start on your salad. Start by scoring the underside of the chicken breasts with a sharp knife with criss-cross slits about 5mm deep. This will allow it to better absorb the flavour when it’s cooking. Keep the upper side intact though for presentation later. Place in a dish. Mix together the marinade ingredients and pour over the chicken and return to the fridge to marinate while you are chopping the salad ingredients.
  2. Once you have chopped all the vegetables but before you dress the salad, start cooking the chicken. I like to cook the breasts in a griddle pan because of the visual effect it gives but you could equally oven bake, pan-fry or even barbeque them. If using a griddle pan, heat some olive oil in the pan and cook over a medium heat. Once the oil is hot, place them top side down first and cook for about 4 minutes.
  3. Turn the breasts over and cook the other side for the same amount of time. Turn them over once more to give the first side another minute or so. I used quite large chicken breasts (about 85g each), which took about 10 mins to cook. The meat should be white all the way through but not dried out. The sweetness in the marinate will go nice and sticky and give the chicken a lovely colour and slightly sticky coating.
  4. When the meat is done, take it off the heat and let it rest for a moment. This lets the juices run out and means that when you cut it and plate up, juices won’t spill out onto your plate.
  5. While the meat is resting, this is the time to complete the last step of the salad – dressing it and adding the mango. Plate up the salad and sprinkle with the nuts. Slice the chicken breasts into equal slices width-wise, about 1-2cm each. Place around the edge of the salad, serve and enjoy. Then go and do something constructive with all that time you’ve saved.

For fish or vegetarian alternatives, replace the chicken breasts with a salmon fillet or slices of tofu, using the same marinade. Both will take slightly less time to cook than chicken and will also look great on a griddle pan.

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