I love everything about this ‘salad’ – the colour, the textures, and the fact that it injects a lot of life into chicken breasts, which isn’t always easy! If you prefer the brown meat (as I do, to be honest!), de-boned chicken thighs with the skin on will be brilliant too. Definitely try and use chicken with the skin on, it has infinitely more flavour and retains so much more moisture when cooked in this way. A handful of rocket or spinach muddled and wilted within the salad would be a lovely addition if you fancy something green in the mix!
This recipe serves 4 people.
1 medium cauliflower
4 chicken breasts
roasting oil of your choice (coconut or rapeseed work well here)
1 tablespoon of fennel seeds
1 tablespoon of cumin seeds
1 tablespoon of coriander seeds
1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
salt & pepper
small knob of butter
2 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons of sultanas (or raisins)
2 tablespoons of flaked almonds (or whole, to be chopped)
For the dressing:
salt & pepper
First, prep the cauliflower down into flourettes of similar sizes.
Toast the fennel, cumin, and coriander seeds in a dry frying pan, as well as the turmeric, just for a minute.
Pummel these in a pestle and mortar. (I like to leave a bit of texture, but a fine power is also perfect if you prefer).
Toss the cauliflower with the ground spices, some salt, and a few tablespoons of the roasting oil of your choice.
Roast in a hot oven for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, season the chicken with salt and pepper; if you’ve got any left over spices use these too.
Heat a frying pan with a few tablespoons of oil, again I would recommend coconut or rapeseed. Cook the chicken breasts skin-side down on this high-medium heat for 5 minutes, until golden and slightly crispy. Turn the heat down and flip the chicken over; add a knob of butter, a clove or two of bashed garlic, some thyme, and a slice of lemon. Keeping the heat on low-medium, allow the chicken to cook through gently, and baste often with the deliciously flavoured buttery pan juices. I turn the chicken over, and over again a few times during the second half of cooking, which helps to keep it moist.
Once cooked through (between 8-12 minutes, depending on thickness), turn off the heat and add the sultanas to the pan, to warm and soak up the delicious flavours. Allow the chicken to rest in the pan for 2 minutes before transferring to a warmed plate to rest for a further few minuets before slicing. (The residual heat in the pan will toughen the cooked chicken if it’s left too long).
Toast the flaked almonds in a dry frying pan, or to make life easier, scatter over the roasting cauliflower for the final few minuets of roasting.
In a jam jar quickly shake up the olive oil, honey, lemon, thyme, honey, and some salt and pepper.
Simply slice the chicken breasts, and plate up with the roasted cauliflower; scatter over the sultanas and flaked almonds, and absolutely pour over everything that’s left in the pan – that’s the good stuff! Dress lightly with a few tablespoons of the lemon and thyme vinaigrette.