The heat is on and all I really want to eat in this weather is a fresh, crunchy salad with tonnes of flavour! This sunshine is gorgeous today in Kenya and with the weekend just around the corner, I wanted to bring a bit of a holiday feel to this recipe. So what do I do? Team up my favourite easy as pie Cajun chicken with some juicy bright oranges and the loveliest crisp greens.
This salad is also super super healthy, with the fennel packed full of potassium, 360 milligrams per cup, more potassium content than a cup of milk or broccoli! Tomatoes, and I have two versions in this recipe, fresh cherry tomatoes AND sun dried tomatoes are bursting with Vitamins A, C and K. They also contain Beta-Carotene which helps protect the skin against sun damage. Get your daily dose of protein with the lean chicken breast and this recipe is a powerhouse for fighting cancer with the highly antioxidant charged rucola, that has *8* times more calcium than simple iceberg. Need I say more, this is getting you healthy the Taste Safari way!!!Serves 1
For the chicken marinade:
- 2 chicken breasts, sliced into medium size strips about an inch long
- 2 tsp of jerk seasoning
- 2 tsp of Mexican fajita seasoning
- 1 tsp Spanish paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp finely crushed garlic
- 1 tbs molasses or if not available, brown sugar will do
- 3 tbs sunflower oil
For the rest of the salad:
- 2 fennel bulbs very finely sliced, preferably with a mandolin
- 2 oranges, with peel and pith removed, sliced into wedges
- 2 large handfuls of rucola
- 1 large bunch of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- 1 large bunch of mint ( try and look for pineapple mint if you can, it has a lovely citrus fragrance that will really add to the dish )
- 1 large bunch of dill finely chopped
- 1 punnet of cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 cup of sun dried tomatoes
- 1 pack of asparagus spear, trimmed to remove the hard part of the stalk
- Sea salt flakes and black pepper for seasoning
Mix all the ingredients for the chicken marinade.
Combine well with the chicken and set aside.
Start preparing the salad; heat 3 tbs of olive oil in a shallow frying pan. Add the fennel and fry gently for 4-5 minutes until softened. Add the asparagus spears and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Set aside.
In a large attractive platter mix the oranges, sun dried tomatoes, rucola, parsley, mint, dill and cherry tomatoes, tossing them all together gently. Set aside.
Now prepare the chicken; heat a shallow frying pan over a medium heat. When the pan is fairly hot, add the chicken, letting it cook on a high heat for the first 3 minutes or so, allowing the meat to sear. Turn the heat down and cook the chicken for a further 5-6 minutes until the meat is cooked through. You should have a nice smoky flavour to the chicken.
Now assemble the salad. Scatter the cooked fennel and asparagus tips over the ready salad and top with a scattering of the chicken, letting all those gorgeous juices from the pan also drip and mingle into the salad.
Serve with plenty of crusty baguette, enjoy!