Monday, 9 February 2009

Chick chick chick chick chicken!

3. Grilled Chicken with Salsa Verde

I was planning on making this for dinner on Saturday, but have you tried finding skin-on chicken breasts recently? Faith n' Begorrah! We eventually tracked some down at the butcher's counter in a big Sainsbury's, though technically they were breast supremes, which include a bit of the wing. Once you've tracked down your chicken all you have to do is brush it with olive oil and grill it for 15 minutes or so, while you get on with making the salsa verde to serve with it. This just involves whizzing parsley and basil together (Jill says you can use coriander instead of the basil, which seems a bit peculiar for an Italianate sauce), and then adding garlic, capers, red wine vinegar, black pepper, olive oil and a little water to thin the whole thing to a pouring consistency. When the chicken's ready you slice it and arrange on top of a pile of green beans, then drizzle over the salsa verde. Like lots of the recipes in Lighten Up this one doesn't include any carbs, so I roasted some chunks of polenta and piled them up beside the chicken.
Now, Dupleix describes the sauce as one flavoursome enough to make "anything taste interesting - even an uninspiring chicken breast," which might not sound like the hardest sell, but is actually one of the reasons I wanted to try the recipe. You see, I never cook plain ol' chicken breasts - we don't actually eat all that much chicken, and when we do it's generally camouflaged by strong East Asian flavourings, so I thought this'd be a refreshing change. And it certainly tasted good, probably helped by the fact that the chicken I got was free range and corn-fed, which always makes for more delectably moist meat. The polenta went fantastically with it, too, though I might cut it into smaller cubes next time. In fact, my only criticism would be that for something in the 'Fast Food' section it's a bit of a faff to make - it doesn't take all that long, but you're required to be doing something for most of the cooking time. Moving on, though, to the bit you've been waiting for:

Mike says: "The sauce was a goody and made the dish. Without the sauce it would have been just a cooked chicken breast. Perhaps wrapping the chicken in parma ham or stuffing it with something would make it more interesting. The polenta went well as an accompaniment and also made the plate look pretty. Being in charge of trying to find chicken breasts with the skin on is like the hunt for Osama, I failed in the end and H got them from the butchers counter at Sainsbury's. Maybe forget the skin if you want to do it from your local shop."

The eyeballs have spoken!


Anonymous said...

Why do none of these recipes contain cheese? Cheese is a source of vital minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. Tests carried out under laboratory conditions at an independently funded scientific establishment near Lourdes conclusively established that some of the smellier French varieties can actually bring the dead back to life. Bring cheese to your public!

Boffcat said...

Unfortunately cheese induces the little-known side effect of Heatherdeath, an interesting variant of death which affects only Heathers, and possibly some smaller species of mole.