I have a love affair with authentic Mexican food. It's such a colourful, fresh, vibrant cuisine, miles away from the heavy, starchy Tex-Mex dishes that have been passed off as Mexican fare to us Europeans. Sadly for me, I have never had the pleasure to visit Mexico (yet!), but I had some pretty amazing authentic Mexican meals in California and haven't looked back since. I am happy to say that thanks to pioneers such as Thomasina Miers, this cuisine is becoming slowly but steadily more and more popular in the UK. I am yet to find a Mexican restaurant here in Brussels, so while I wait for one to open up, I have come up with the recipe for this zingy chicken salad that packs a punch!
INGREDIENTS (for two people)
- Two chicken breasts (organic or free range)
- One ripe avocado
- Two large tomatoes (or four smaller ones). The most important thing is that they are ripe and sweet
- 200 gr of tinned sweetcorn
- A small handful of pumpkin seeds
- Two limes
- One garlic clove, peeled and crushed
- Two fresh red chillies
- Two tablespoons of chopped coriander
- One teaspoon of smoked paprika
- Mixed salad leaves
- Salt & pepper
- Extra-virgin olive oil
Shortly before you are ready to cook the chicken, prepare your remaining salad ingredients at such, dividing them in two bowls (one for each lucky diner): scatter the mixed leaves to form a bed for the chicken. Peel and chop the avocado; discard the tomatoes' seeds and any water they contain, and chop the flesh in bite size-pieces. Finely chop the red chilli, drain the sweetcorn and tip that into the bowls, too. Dress the salad with the juice of the remaining lime, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, then scatter it with pumpkin seeds.
Now grill the chicken: get a griddled pan nice and hot, and lay the meat on to it to cook for about 4 minutes each side. Ensure the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear, but don't overcook it or it will end up too dry.
Transfer the chicken to a plate, cover it with foil and leave it to stand for about two minutes to allow the meat to relax; then slice it up and arrange it on top of the pre-prepared salad. Finish off with another squeeze of lime juice, a drizzling of olive oil, a sprinkling of salt and the rest of the coriander leaves scattered on top.