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Grilled Chicken With Pickled Watermelon Salad

GRILLED CHICKEN WITH PICKLED WATERMELON SALAD

Try this delicious Grilled Chicken With Pickled Watermelon Salad from the ‘Lunch By The Sea’ recipes in Gourmet Traveller’s recipe book Menu.

Begin this recipe a day ahead to pickle the watermelon.

PREP TIME: 25 MINS

COOK 1 HR: 20 MINS

(PLUS COOLING, PICKLING, MARINATING, RESTING)

SERVES 8

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 chickens (about 1.8kg each), butterflied, backbone removed
  • 160 gm light palm sugar, crushed
  • 250 ml (1 cup) fish sauce
  • 250 ml (1 cup) lime juice
  • 150 gm (1 cup) spelt (see note)
  • 600 gm watermelon, thickly sliced (reserve rind for pickle)
  • 2 cups (loosely packed) mint
  • 1 cup each (loosely packed) coriander, Thai basil and Vietnamese mint, plus extra to serve

PICKLED WATERMELON RIND

  • 100 gm watermelon rind, thinly sliced on a mandolin
  • 250 ml (1 cup) rice wine vinegar
  • 165 gm (¾ cup) caster sugar
  • 1 long red chilli, split
  • 5 gm (1cm piece) ginger, thinly sliced

CRISP SHALLOTS AND GARLIC

  • Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • 10 golden shallots, thinly sliced on a mandolin
  • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced on a mandolin

METHOD

  1. For pickled watermelon rind, place rind in a non-reactive container (see cook’s notes p279)
    and set aside. Stir vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves, bring to the boil, then set aside to cool. When cool, add chilli and ginger, and pour mixture over watermelon rind. Cover and refrigerate overnight to pickle.
  2. Place chickens in a non-reactive dish and set aside. Pound palm sugar, fish sauce and lime juice using a large mortar and pestle, then pour half the mixture over chickens and refrigerate, turning occasionally, for 1 hour to marinate. Refrigerate remaining dressing until required.
  3. Meanwhile, cook spelt in boiling water until tender (30-40 minutes). Drain well, spread on a tray and set aside to cool.
  4. For crisp shallots and garlic, heat vegetable oil in a deep saucepan to 160C, add shallot and deep-fry in batches, stirring frequently, until crisp and golden (1-2 minutes; be careful, hot oil will spit). Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Repeat with garlic. Store separately in airtight containers until required.
  5. Heat a char-grill pan over medium-high heat (or use a barbecue). Drain chickens from marinade and grill skin-side down until crisp (10-15 minutes), then turn and grill until cooked through (10-15 minutes). Set aside to rest for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Combine watermelon wedges, spelt, herbs and pickled watermelon rind in a bowl, drizzle with reserved dressing and toss to combine. Scatter chicken with crisp shallots and garlic, and extra herbs, and serve with pickled watermelon salad.

NOTE: Spelt, a grain, similar to barley, is available from health-food shops and select delicatessens. If it’s unavailable, substitute freekah or farro perlato.
WINE SUGGESTION: Full-flavoured rosé made from grenache.

Gourmet Traveller

Recipe extracted from ‘Lunch by the Sea’ Menu in Gourmet Traveller’s new book Menus. Available where all good books are sold including Dymocks and www.magshop.com.au

Written by Robyn Foyster

With over 30 years experience as a journalist and TV producer, Robyn Foyster is the owner and publisher of the lifestyle websites TheCarousel.com, GameChangers.com.au and WomenLoveTech.com.

Robyn was voted one of the 30 most powerful women in media at the 2015 B&T Women In Media Awards.

Previously, Robyn was the Publisher and Editor of Australia's three biggest flagship magazine brands - The Australian Women's Weekly, Woman's Day and New Idea.

Robyn won Editor of the Year at the 2007 Magazine of the Year Award and under her helm The Australian Women's Weekly won the inaugural 2008 Australian Magazine Award for Australia's best mass market magazine and New Idea won the MPA's coveted Magazine of the Year award.

She can be contacted on Robyn@TheCarousel.com.

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