Recipe: Lemongrass and lime chicken with Dorset watercress salad
- Credit: watercress.co.uk
Dorset chef Suze Morrison creates a superfood salad using locally grown watercress
May heralds the start of the UK watercress season when the lush, peppery green leaf is available in abundance on supermarket shelves, freshly harvested from farms in Dorset and Hampshire, where watercress has flourished for over 150 years. It is a uniquely grown crop with its roots clinging to the gravel base of the beds, while the plants sway in the nutrient-rich spring water, that has come from chalk aquafers, flows past.
Revered for centuries for its reputed health benefits, watercress not only contains over 50 vital vitamins and minerals, but gram for gram it boasts more calcium than milk, more Vitamin C than an orange, more folate than a banana and more Vitamin E than broccoli. Added to that, watercress has high levels of iron, and it is a rich source of fibre and crucial antioxidants, vital for gut health which is linked to immunity and mental health.
Lemongrass & Lime Chicken Watercress Salad
6 chicken thighs, bone in, skin on
1 tsp coconut oil
½ tsp salt
1 lime, juice & zest
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3 cloves garlic, minced
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, minced
2 green finger chillies, finely sliced
4 lemongrass stalks, bashed
3 lime leaves, chiffonade
1 tin full fat coconut milk
rapeseed oil for deep frying
For the salad
2 carrots, julienne
1 red onion, finely sliced
3 spring onions, finely sliced
½ cucumber, julienne
2 sour eating apples, julienne, stored in the lime juice.
100g frozen peas, defrosted
For the dressing:
1 tbsp Sambal Oelek (or chilli paste)
1 lime, juiced
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp oil
Combine all the dressing ingredients in a jar and shake to combine. Set aside. For the crispy onions, heat the oil for deep frying in a pan, no more than 2/3 full, to 180°C. Fry the onions for 2-3 minutes or until crisp and golden. Blot on kitchen paper and sprinkle with salt to stay crisp. Store in an airtight container.
Sprinkle the flesh of the chicken with ½ tsp salt and the lime zest. Set aside for 30 minutes to tenderise. Heat the oil for the chicken in a large pan. Add the chicken skin side down and brown for 4-5 minutes to render out any fat. Flip the chicken over, add the garlic, ginger, chillies, lemongrass and lime leaves and cook 30 seconds more. Pour over the coconut milk and reduce to a simmer. Simmer 15-20 minutes or until the flesh is cooked through. Remove from the heat and allow to cool in the liquid. Once cool enough to handle, remove the skin and bones and shred the meat. Strain the sauce through a sieve, discard the solids and retain the juice.
To assemble, gently mix the prepped spring onion, cucumber, apple, peas, carrot and watercress in a bowl with 4 tablespoons of the dressing. Top with the shredded chicken, a few spoons of coconut sauce, sprinkle over the crispy onions and coconut flakes and serve. Find other watercress recipes by clicking here
About Suze Morrison
With a degree in Biological Sciences and a Professional Chef Diploma, Suze is passionate about nutrition and the unique pairings of volatile compounds in food. Having worked in Michelin starred restaurants, Suze devotes her time to creating recipes in her Dorset kitchen for her Gourmet Glow business with a more wholesome and holistic approach to health. Watercress is central to many of her creations, not only for its aromatic compounds, but also for its nutritional value. Follow her on her Instagram platform for foodie topics, recipes, services, hints and tips.