This Little Pig felt like a smoked ham in a ham house this weekend just gone as temperatures soared up to 40 degrees. It’s trotters turned a deep shade of pink and it had a light sheen on its hocks that wasn’t very appealing. Luckily in times of intense heat, this fine swine likes to chill things down by slipping its hams into an iced bath and sipping on a cucumber spritz (read: turn all air conditioners on in the house and try not to move at all) and of course, whip up a cool and crunchy salad.
This chicken salad is an absolute stunner piglets! It’s crunchy, fresh, sweet and sour all at once and This Little Pig was slurping this up with a lot of enthusiasm over the weekend. The gentle poaching technique of the chicken is brilliant (if we don’t say so ourselves) and although there is a heap of great salad which might make a few males feel a bit panicky (after all you don’t make friends with salad), the fried shallots give it a nice crunch and moreish flavour to it.
So roll up those sweaty sleeves, slather on some 30+ and leap into the kitchen to create this cool and crunchy delight. Oooooink!!!
Poached Coconut Chicken on a crunchy slaw with Nuoc Cham Dressing
Feeds: 4 Hungry Piglets.
Prep Time: 30 Mins. Cooking Time: 30 Mins (but you can pop the chicken on and forget about him whilst you do all the other prep).
125g x Bean shoots
1 x Coriander Bunch
1 x Mint
1 x Cucumber
1 x Red Capsicum
¼ x Red Cabbage
½ x Cup of Fried Shallots
1 x Red Chilli
Coconut Poaching Ingredients:
600g x Chicken Breast
400ml x Coconut Milk
3 x Star Anise
1 x Garlic Clove
1 x Ginger Thumb (around 20g)
1 x Tsp Powdered Stock
1 x Tsp 5 Spice
Nuoc Cham Dressing:
1.5 x Tbs Fish Sauce
1 x Tbs Sugar
1 x Lime
1 x Red Chilli
1 x Garlic Clove
¼ x Cup of Water
Method of Poaching Glory:
- Skin and finely slice your ginger (20g) and garlic (1) and drop into a pot with your star anise (3), powdered stock (1 Tsp) and 5 spice (1 Tsp). Pour in 400ml of coconut milk and 200ml of water (1/2 fill the coconut milk can with water as a measure) into the pot and stir.
- Gently dollop your chicken breasts into the coconut milk infusion and bring to the boil. Once it hits the boil, reduce to a low simmer with the lid off for 20 mins. Turn off and allow to sit in the coconut milk for another 10 mins or until cooked through (no pink).
Nuoc Cham Glory:
- Skin and very finely dice your garlic clove.
- Using the back of the knife, run it down your chilli to help loosen the seeds and then chop off the chilli’s head and bang him so all of his seeds fall out.
- Now very finely dice your chilli (if you are a hot to trot swine, use it all, otherwise you may only need half of your chilli). Slice your lime into quarters ready to squeeze.
- Combine all of your Nuoc Cham ingredients - fish sauce (1.5 Tbs), sugar (1 Tbs), lime (1), red chilli (1), garlic clove (1) and water (1/4 cup) in a small bowl and mix very well until the sugar has dissolved. Taste and alter if needed, using more or less lime juice/fish sauce/sugar, as it depends on how juicy your lime is – you want a nice sweet and sour taste to it.
Salad Ingredient glory:
- Remove your second chilli’s (1) seeds and slice into thin slices.
- Finely slice your cabbage (1/4), carrot (1), cucumber (1) & capsicum (1) – oh look they all start with a “C”, what are the odds – into very thin strips around half a finger in length (easier to pop in your mouth).
- Pull your mint and coriander leaves off their stem and give your bean shoots a spritz.
- Gently mix all of your salad ingredients (cabbage, carrot, cucumber, capsicum, bean shoots, coriander and mint) together.
Combining This Absolute Beauty:
- Remove your poached chicken from its coconut broth and allow to cool slightly.
- Take two forks, or a fork and a sharp knife and scrape away at the chicken down the grain to shred it into little shreds – if it’s cool enough you can use your hands to break it apart.
- Gently mix your chicken through your salad. Serve out onto plates and generously drizzle your Nuoc Cham Dressing over the top.
- Scatter with wild abandon, the fried shallots and chilli (if you are a hot to trot piglet) and then tuck in with squeals of crunchy delight! WOWSERS piglets, wowsers. Oink!