14 April 2011

Spicy chicken with Mango Salad

I should, really, be entitling this one "Spicy chicken with mango salad (providing your grocery delivery contains a ripe mango)".  However, let's assume that mine did - and I'll tell you about it anyway.

Sorry about the dappled light - it was a pleasant evening!
This is one of those "had it before, last summer, liked it, decided to have it again" dishes.  Except (there always is, isn't there?) there is a difference this time, in that because we now have a shiny new non-stick (and it IS non-stick) frying pan, I decided to pan fry the chicken.  Last time I cooked the chicken in the oven, which results in a bit of a different finish.  Still nice, but it doesn't have the lovely crunchy crust of garam masala and curry powder that the chicken breast develops while it is cooking in the pan.

I also found it a lot easier to decide when the chicken was "just" done, which left it lovely and moist.  With oven cooking, you're at the mercy of the cooking time given by the recipe and the vagaries of your own oven.  You can't keep on checking it, because every time you open the oven door you're letting all the lovely heat out and so the chicken slows down the cooking process.  More often than not, it results in a very slightly overcooked chicken.  With pan frying, it was perfect.

True honours must go to the lime and sour cream dip/accompanimentNow I love lime and will eat it raw given the chance, so I have a suspicion that I enjoyed it rather more than the chaps did.  In fact, son & heir wouldn't touch it following on from a taster on the end of a piece of naan bread.  Hubby used the prescribed amount to accompany his chicken and dress his salad and agreed that it went very well with both - and as a dip for the somewhat surplus to requirements naan bread that was recommended by the recipe.  As for me, I took the remainder of the naan bread and the lime dip and ate it later on when I was watching t.v., it was that nice!

As I say, I really don't know what the naan bread was supposed to bring to the dish and definitely wouldn't have it again.  If you're desperate to have some carbohydrate input into the dish, a potato salad or maybe potato wedges would have been nicer.

One point of difference between the photograph and the recipe is the way we dealt with our cucumber.  In order to save hubby's sore mouth (where he'd bitten himself the night before) we sliced the cucumbers far more thinly than prescribed.  I don't think it mattered, but you may have wondered why!

The dish received a mixed reception from the chaps, in that hubby thought the chicken was rather one-dimensional and wouldn't be rushing to have it again, although equally he wouldn't say no if we did.  Son & heir hated the lime dip (~sob~) but liked the chicken.  Personally, I liked all of it and would very happily have it again tomorrow.  So this leads me to think that perhaps it's something of a "girl's dish", rather than something that appeals to big rufty tufty chaps.


Ingredients :

3 skinless, boneless & trimmed of all fat, chicken breasts
a drizzle of olive oil
1-2 tbsp garam masala (depending on the size of the chicken)
1-2 tbsp madras curry powder (as above)
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 large ripe (ha!) mango
half a cucumber, pips removed and sliced into chunks diagonally
half a small red onion, sliced finely
a few Romaine lettuce leaves, shredded
a handful of fresh coriander leaves
4 tbsp sour cream
grated zest and juice of half a lime

Method :

1.  In a large plastic bag, add the chicken, the olive oil, garam masala, curry powder, salt and pepper.  Seal the bag and massage the mixture together until the chicken has been liberally coated.  Put to one side to briefly marinade.

2.  Mix the sour cream together with the lime zest and juice, season and mix thoroughly.
Put to one side in the fridge to stay cool.

3.  Heat a griddle or frying pan until hot.  Add the chicken and cook each side for 6-10 minutes over a low to moderate heat, allowing a crust to form.  Try not to flip from side to side, as it takes the contact between the pan and the chicken to really cook that crust.  You will find that the chicken becomes ever so slightly charred in places, which all adds to the flavour, but don't overdo it!

4.  While the chicken is cooking, prepare the salad by peeling and slicing the mango into thin wedges.  Place in a large bowl and add the cucumber pieces, lettuce, onion and coriander and toss together.  Season.

5.  To serve, pile the salad onto plates and slice each chicken breast into three.  Place with the salad and serve a dollop of the lime/sour cream mixture by the side.

Tuck in!



  1. Now that sounds yummy. Think ill be giving that a go :) xx

  2. Had a really similar dinner to you last night, how funny (no mango here either) http://www.greedyrosie.net/2011/04/14/anjum-anands-raj-chicken-cutlet/

  3. How amazing! That is incredibly similar to the spicy chicken as detailed here. Mind you, I'm liking the addition of the ginger - yum! Might try that the next time I do my version, as it might help hubby's opinion that the chicken was a little one-dimensional. :) Thanks!


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