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Chermoula Chicken with Garden Salad

The chermoula marinade turns into a delicious citrus sauce for the chicken which creates a fusion of colour and flavour served with a fresh garden salad and a scattering of edible flowers, this is one of the recipes I’ve been making on stage at the Chef’s Theatre at Foodies Festival complementing a lovely Sauvignon Blanc wine from Casillero del Diablo

Chermoula Chicken
Chermoula Chicken

Ingredients: for 4 servings

4 x boned and skinned chicken breasts
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 small red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
2 fresh red chilies
1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, chopped
good pinch of sea salt
extra virgin olive oil
Juice and zest of 2 lemons

For the sauce:
Juice of 2 lemons
Juice of 1 pink grapefruit
1 tablespoon maple syrup

Garden Salad:
Bag of baby salad leaves or mixture of baby spinach, rocket, pea shoots, etc
1 courgette, scraped into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
Fresh garden peas
Selection of Edible Flowers

  1. Place the chicken breasts into the freezer bag one at a time, tie the top , then flatten by bashing it with the rolling pin or meat tenderizer.  Repeat with the other breasts.
  2. Dry fry the coriander and cumin seeds in a frying pan until fragrant, be careful this will only take 30 seconds or so and it burns easily so don’t walk off and leave it, transfer to a pestle and mortar and pound to a powder.
  3. Place the red onion, garlic, chilies, mint, salt, 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil and the lemon zest and juice into a bowl, add the chicken breasts and spice powder and rub the oil and herbs into the breasts making sure they are thoroughly covered, cover with clingfilm and place into the fridge to marinate for at least 4 hours. You could blitz this in a mini chopper if you wish and place the whole lot in a freezer bag to marinate and save on washing up.
  4. When ready to cook, heat the griddle, add a little oil if needed and cook the chicken, reserving the marinade.
  5. Place the marinade in a small saucepan along with the extra lemon juice, grapefruit juice and maple syrup, bring to the boil and reduce to a thick sauce.
  6. To make the salad arrange the leaves, fresh peas and courgette ribbons in a bowl, drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle over a little salt and gently stir to mix.  You don’t want much dressing as there will be plenty of sauce from the marinade.  Scatter over the edible flowers just before serving.
  7. Serve the chicken with the citrus sauce and the salad.