Thursday, March 25, 2010

Chicken and Beetroot - A Delightful Duo

I don't know why I think these two go so well together - maybe it's the contrasting colours or the fact that both have neutral tastes to begin with, but once they absorb different flavours they can taste quite extraordinary.

Beetroot, in my opinion, is underestimated. I know when I was growing up the only form of beetroot I was accustomed to, was the pickled and sliced variety in a jar - which I loved! Now that I can no longer eat it - I have been introduced to a whole new world of baby beetroot; roasted and even raw.

The two recipes below are newly created by me and are equally delicious, fresh and light.

The current fad it seems is to use as many raw ingredients as possible - I therefore decided to use some raw beetroot in this salad, to see what all the fuss was about.

Grilled Chicken and Raw Beetroot Salad:
(Serves 2)

    • 2 Chicken Breasts (skinless)
    • Macadamia Nut Oil
    • Citrus Flake Sea Salt (Woolies)
    • Tin Foil
    • Half a Packet Baby Beetroot
    • Half a Packet Tender Stem Asparagus Spears
    • Half a Packet Rocket Leaves
    • Poppy Seeds
    • 2 Tablespoons Macadamia Nut Oil
    • 2 Tablespoons Honey
    • Juice of a Lime
    • A Sprinkling of Citrus Flake Sea Salt and Crushed Black Pepper
    • A Drop of Water

    • Heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius
    • Tear two squares of tin foil
    • Place one chicken breast in the middle of each square
    • Place a drop of Macadamia Nut Oil onto each breast and a liberal sprinkling of Citrus Flake Sea Salt
    • Rub the oil and salt over the breasts, so that they are entirely covered
    • Wrap up the breasts loosely into a tinfoil parcel

    • Cook in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes (the breasts must still be moist)
    • Blanch asparagus spears in boiling water for about 5 minutes, so that they are still al dente
    • Grate the beetroot into a bowl
    • Tear up the rocket leaves and add to the bowl
    • Add the blanched asparagus
    • Cut the cooked chicken breasts into bite-size pieces and add to the salad
    • Coat the salad with the dressing (if you find the dressing a bit sweet, I like to use the juices from the chicken as well - you can even use the juices instead of using extra oil in the dressing)
    • Top with poppy seeds and toss

Roasted Beetroot, Sweet Potato and Fennel with Grilled Chicken Breasts:
(Serves 2-4)

    • 4 Skinless Chicken Breasts
    • Olive Oil
    • Paprika
    • Herbal Salt
    • Tinfoil
    • Half a Packet Baby Beetroot
    • Cinnamon
    • Teaspoon Sugar
    • Mixed Dried Herbs
    • A Bulb of Fennel
    • A Sweet Potato
    • Cinnamon
    • A Squeeze of Lemon
    • Heat Oven to 220 degrees Celsius
    • Cover the bottom of a baking pan with tinfoil and add a bit of water to the pan
    • Toss in the baby beetroot, along with a drop of olive oil, a sprinkling of cinnamon, sugar, herbal salt and mixed dried herbs
    • Cook in the oven for about 30 to 40 minutes until the beetroot is tender
    • Make chicken parcels with the breasts, as in the above recipe. This time use olive oil, paprika and herbal salt
    • Place in the oven when beetroot has been cooking for about 25 minutes (and cook breasts for about 10 to 15 minutes)
    • Peal sweet potato and cut into rings
    • Rub each ring with a small amount of olive oil and sprinkle with cinnamon and herbal salt
    • Roast in the oven for about 10 minutes until tender
    • Cut Fennel into slices and rub each slice with a small amount of olive oil and a sprinkle of herbal salt
    • Roast in the oven for about 10 minutes until tender
    • When all ingredients are cooked, dish onto a plate and squeeze over some lemon

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