Summer is here! Summer is here!
Well ok, it looks like we’re about to have a few days of hot weather here in the UK. It’s time to get out the suntan lotion and insect repellent. Either that or the forecast will be wrong and the rains are coming! Don’t be surprised if that turns out to be the case – it is school holiday time after all…
Like our infrastructure here in the UK I grind to a halt when temperatures drift into the high twenties. I function perfectly well on holiday, thanks to proper air conditioning, plenty of cold beer and a swimming pool, but those aren’t always an option at home.
Admittedly we have plenty of cold beer to hand at home. But it’s not good form to start drinking at 11 a.m. on a workday, is it? Plus experience tells me that cooking whilst drunk doesn’t always lead to the best results.
So, when temperatures rise I tend to implement one rule: avoid lingering around the kitchen as much as possible. Cooked food tends to become a lot quicker and the oven is only turned on as a last resort. If the sun keeps shining I might even be tempted to fire up the barbecue (if I can face cleaning it afterwards). Salads move from being the “healthy option” to being the “only sane option”.
The good news is that salads don’t have to be boring. Take this Honey Mustard Chicken Salad as an example. It’s absolutely packed with texture and flavour thanks to the right combination of vegetables, succulent chicken and a damn good dressing. The mixture of sweet honey and warming mustard in the creamy dressing give this salad a wonderfully piquant flavour. The base of that sauce is also used to marinate the chicken, which helps unite the flavours in every mouthful.
This is everything you’d want on a warm summer’s evening (or indeed any evening for that matter). So why not sit back and relax as the sun sets, with a nice glass of wine and some tasty food too keep you company?
Honey Mustard Chicken Salad
For the Marinade / Dressing Base
- 3 tbsp Honey
- 2 tbsp Wholegrain Mustard
- 1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp Cider Vinegar
- ½ tsp Garlic Granules
- ½ tsp Sea Salt
For the Chicken
- 4 Skinless Chicken Breast Fillets
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- For the Dressing
- 2 tbsp Good Quality Mayonnaise
For the Salad
- Crisp Lettuce or Mixed Salad Leaves of your choice I recommend Cos or Gem lettuce
- 1 Cucumber deseeded and cut into chunks
- 6 Tomatoes cut into wedges
- 1 Avocado peeled and cut into slices
- 4 rashers Bacon cooked until crisp then broken into pieces
- Start by making the marinade. Mix together all of the marinade ingredients in a bowl, until well combined.
- Place the chicken breasts between two pieces of cling film and bash with a rolling pin, or meat tenderiser, until 1cm in thickness. Put into a bowl, or zip-lock bag, then pour over half of the marinade. Mix until the chicken is fully coated with the sauce, then cover (or seal the baand allow to marinate in the fridge for at least an hour. If you have time leave for a few hours.
- Mix the remaining half of the marinade with the mayonnaise and stir until fully mixed. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
- When ready to cook remove the chicken from the marinade and shake off any excess.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan over a medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the pan and cook for 10-12 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly before thickly slicing.
- Meanwhile, divide the salad leaves, cucumber, tomato and avocado between two bowls. Top with the cooked chicken, then drizzle over the honey mustard dressing.
- Sprinkle the bacon pieces over the top and serve.
|Estimated Values per Serving|
|of which Saturates||6||g|
|of which Sugars||19||g|
|Note: Nutritional information shown is per serving of the above recipe. Any side dishes or garnishes shown in photos are not included in these values, unless they are specifically listed as part of the recipe.|