Monday, 31 January 2011

Grilled chicken salad with cheese nachos

On a recent family outing we ate cheese nachos at a bar, with jalapenos, guacamole, and salsa. I fancied a lazy meal last night, and bought some low salt tortilla chips and got on with conjuring up my own version. For the hungry I swapped salsa for chicken and added shredded lettuce.

The result was tasty and tangy, and went well with some tv. The heat came mostly from the jalapenos, which also had a nice vinegary edge, that complimented the creaminess of the guacamole. The tang is balanced by the cooked capsicum. The colours were nice and lively for a cold winter’s evening, and would also work on a summer’s day or night, when you could do the chicken on a bbq.

The chicken needs marinading for about an hour.

The capsicum pepper is cooked over the flame of a gas cooker. I’ve never tried it on an electric cooker. I shall experiment with a dry frying pan and report back.

For the more lazy, buy the guacamole.

Quantities are for two people who like their food. The only straight carbs are the tortilla chips.


For the chicken salad
Two skinless chicken legs (thigh and drumstick) or equivalent
Two handfuls of chopped lettuce
Small jar jalapeno peppers
1 capsicum pepper

For the marinade
Juice of 1 orange or similar (about ½ mug)
2 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 crushed chopped clove garlic
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp of sugar
1 large pinch of salt
Generous grindings of black pepper

·        Mix everything together in a bowl large enough to hold the chicken.
·        Slash the flesh of the chicken.
·        Mix the chicken and the marinade, coating the chicken completely.
·        Leave to marinade for about an hour or at least as long as it takes to prepare the rest of the meal.

·        Char the skin of the pepper thoroughly over a gas ring, wrap in foil or baking parchment and set aside until cool.
·        Wash and dry the lettuce and shred finely, spread around a large plate.
·        Drain the jalapenos and scatter over the lettuce.
·        Scrape charred skin off the pepper and roughly chop the flesh (chucking seeds and stem away), sprinkle over lettuce and jalapenos.

·        Grill the marinaded chicken for 7 minutes a side.
·        Wrap in foil and allow to sit for at least five minutes
·        Take the cooked meat off the bone and slice into bite size chunks.
·        Put sliced cooked chicken into the middle of the plate of lettuce and peppers.

For the guacamole
2 ripe avocados
1 tomato
10 sprigs of coriander
½ an onion
1 mild chilli
Salt and pepper
Juice of ½ lime

·        Chop the tomato, onion, coriander and deseeded chilli as finely as possible with the pepper and salt – or blitz in a mini processor/bash about in a pestle and mortar.
·        Cut the avocados into small bits and mash the lot together with a fork.
·        Add the lime juice and stir – adjust seasoning to taste.

Cheesy nachos
1 pkt tortilla chips
Cheddar or similar

Set the oven to medium heat.

·        Get a large heatproof dish and put the tortilla chips on it.
·        Grate enough cheddar over the lot to give a thin covering.
·        Heat for 10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.

Tuck in.

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