Whether it’s a ride in the country, an umbrella in the rain, or a heavy load to lift, a problem shared is a problem halved and a pleasure shared is a pleasure doubled. A recent invite to come up to the hills for a swim and escape the temperature 41oC by some good friends was a true pleasure. The children had a great swim and us oldies enjoyed the cooler conditions and shared a sumptuous table.
Just nibbles the host said…. she had prepared feasts for Christmas and New Year’s gatherings and supposedly wasn’t going to prepare more!
Hah! I have heard that before!
In fact she had not one but two fantastic terrines accompanied by home-made pickled capsicum and onion relish, one a chicken watercress and tarragon beauty and the other liver and veal. Disappearing after a bit she returned with cassata …home-made ice-cream in the centre, fresh blue berries and raspberries…I always feel humbled in the her presence.
I had prepared a salad for everyone to share based on an old favourite from many years ago. It is a simple chicken mango avocado salad but the thing that sets it apart from the rest is the dressing.
Chicken salad with macadamia dressing and mango salsa
This is the original recipe; I have often taken many liberties and substituted or omitted several ingredients and maintained a measure of success.
3 cups good chicken stock
4 chicken breast fillets (see note)
1 tablespoon macadamia oil
1 handful of macadamias, roughly chopped
1 bunch of watercress, trimmed, washed well and broken into pieces.
Note: Baby spinach or any salad greens can be substituted for the watercress.
2 avocados, sliced
250g sugar snap peas, blanched and refreshed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 Tablespoon paw paw and mango chutney
1 tablespoon apricot jam
1/4 cup unsalted macadamias
2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
2 tablespoons macadamia oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup whole-egg mayonnaise
1/4 cup thin cream
2 ripe mangoes, finely diced
1 small Spanish onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons light olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons finely chopped mint
1 teaspoons honey
1 small fresh red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
For salsa, combine ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Cover and set aside so flavours can blend and develop.
Bring chicken stock to the boil in a deep Frying pan.
Reduce heat and gently poach, chicken fillets for about 8 minutes, or until cooked through.
Remove from stock and set aside to cool.
Note: I normally cook the chicken fillets on a grill pan instead of poaching.
For dressing, heat oil in a small saucepan, and cook onion over medium heat until translucent.
Add curry powder and stir for 1 minute. Remove from heat, stir in chutney and jam and mix well.
Set aside to cool. Process macadamias in a food processor until, well chopped.
Add vinegar and oils, process until well combined.
Combine with the cooled onion mixture, mayonnaise and cream.
Mix well. Set aside.
Heat macadamia oil in a small frying pan and cook macadamias until lightly golden. Arrange watercress, sliced avocado and Peas on individual serving plates. Slice chicken fillets and arrange in centre of salad greens.
Spoon over some dressing. Add 2 tablespoons of salsa to each serving and sprinkle with macadamias.