Chicken breast with fennel and rocket salad
Four chicken breasts with the skin on; juice of one lemon; one tablespoon of olive oil; salt and black pepper; fennel salad; two fennel bulbs, sliced thinly as possible; two tablespoons of olive oil; juice of one lemon; one tablespoon of good quality mustard; handful of rocket leaves per person.
To serve: drizzle of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and black pepper.
Set oven gas mark 4, 180°C, 350°F;
An hour or two ahead if possible place the chicken breasts in a shallow dish. Pour over the lemon juice, olive oil and seasoning. Prepare the salad – put the sliced fennel in a large bowl, in another small bowl mix the olive oil, lemon juice, and mustard together, taste for seasoning. Mix the fennel and dressing together – set aside. Seal the chicken breasts on a hot pan until well browned. Then finish cooking in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes.
To serve: slice the chicken, serve with a mound of the salad and the rocket leaves on top. Drizzle with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar and a little black pepper.
Warm chicken salad with cashew nuts and mango dressing
The absolutely best way is to roast a whole chicken with lots of garlic cloves, a few sprigs of rosemary, lemon wedges stuffed into the cavity, and seasoned with salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Cook until the juices run clear. Then an hour or two later, take the meat off the bone and make the salad. If you haven’t time to roast a chicken then you can just grill a few chicken breasts, slice them up and make the salad.
Four chicken breasts, cooked and sliced; handful salad leaves per person; one mango, sliced; handful seedless black grapes; 50g cashew nuts.
Dressing: one mango, peeled and chopped; three to four scallions, chopped; handful of basil leaves; one tablespoon of rice vinegar; four tablespoons of olive oil; salt, black pepper, and a pinch of sugar.
Start with the dressing, put all the dressing ingredients in the processor, give it a quick whiz, taste for seasoning. Coat the salad leaves in a little of the dressing, arrange the leaves on individual plates or in one large bowl. Add the sliced mango, grapes, nuts, and chicken. Drizzle over the dressing and serve with some nice bread.
The longer you cook this shoulder of lamb the better so don’t worry if it gets an extra hour or so. The meat should be so tender that it is easily shred with a fork.
One small shoulder of lamb; one tablespoon of olive oil; two teaspoons of dried ginger; on teaspoons of ground cumin; two teaspoon of ground coriander; two teaspoons of turmeric; juice and grated rind of one lemon; one small bunch of coriander, leaves picked and stems kept; sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper.
For the aioli: one bulb of garlic; 85ml olive oil; one free-range egg yolk; one teaspoon of white wine vinegar.
For the tomato salsa
Four ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped; one small red onion, finely chopped; one tablespoon of chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley; two tablespoons of chopped fresh coriander; one tablespoon of fresh lime juice and one tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil.
Preheat the oven to gas mark 3, 160ºC (325ºF ). To prepare the lamb, place the olive oil, ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric, lemon rind and juice, the stalks of the coriander and a good pinch of salt into a blender and blitz to form a smooth paste. Put the shoulder of lamb onto the two large pieces of foil and make lots of incisions with a knife. Next rub the paste all over. Add a couple of tablespoons of water then seal the foil leaving a little pocket of air above the lamb. Place onto a baking sheet and cook for three hours.
After three hours open the foil and baste the lamb, then reseal the parcel. Cut the tips off the tops of the garlic cloves, wrap the bulb tightly with foil and place in the oven. Cook the lamb for another hour until the lamb is meltingly tender and the garlic bulb is soft. Turn off the oven but leave the lamb to rest inside.
Meanwhile, make the salsa. Place the tomatoes in a bowl with the red onion, herbs, lime juice, and olive oil. Season to taste and mix thoroughly to combine.
To make the roasted garlic aioli, gently heat the olive oil. Squeeze out the really soft insides of the garlic cloves into a blender. Add the egg yolk and some salt and pepper. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil to make a smooth thick sauce. Place into a heavy-based pan so you can heat through before serving (this could also be done with a small whisk and a bowl ).
Heat the tortillas in the oven by wrapping in a clean damp tea towel. Shred the lamb using two forks, discarding any excess fat and bones. Give each person a tortilla, dot over the garlic aioli, top with some lamb, a good spoonful of the salsa, then finish with some salad and a couple of slices of the cucumber. Wrap and eat immediately. Serve with the green salad.
Note: If you use a boned shoulder you could reduce the cooking time by approximately an hour. You may have some lamb and aioli left over, they will keep in the fridge for a couple of days.
Serve with eight large soft flour tortilla wraps, one small cucumber seeded and cut into thin strips and a bowl of green salad
You can replace the aioli and tomato salsa with ready prepared mayonnaise and a jar of salsa.