Quinoa as mustard! Quinoa + Coconut Poached Chicken Salad with Tamarind Dressing

Posted by Dani (@dani_sunario), Melbourne.
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I’ve been eating a lot of Kraft cheese lately. You know the stuff – squares of plastic cheese, wrapped in another layer of plastic dividing them into a single serve that is only ever satisfying if you eat more than one at a time and/or are supremely inebriated.

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If we’re talking of the latter scenario, you’ll most likely find me rummaging through the fridge while sitting cross-legged on the floor, trying not to fall any further. The floor is good for that. Real good.

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Back on topic, I decided that I needed a wholesome, healthy meal to contradict all the crap goodness I’ve been applying liberally to my face. Some sort of salad should fix that, right?

YEAH, SALAD.

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The chicken is poached in the same way as the Gochujang Poached Chicken from back in May: 68 degrees celsius for 12 minutes in a sealed bag to lock in the moisture.

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I’m quite bad at the whole gardening/ensuring plants are sufficiently watered thing, so luckily the weather Gods of Melbournetown have been makin’ it rain of late, and have taken care of that little game for me. All of the green bits in this recipe came from my adequately sized ‘erb garden, so I’m feelin’ like a bit of a proud mama.

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Quinoa and Coconut Poached Chicken Salad with Tamarind Dressing
Serves 2

2 skinless chicken breasts
1/3 cup coconut milk
1 stalk young lemongrass, finely sliced
1 tablespoon sriracha hot sauce
1 small cucumber
1/3 cup slivered almonds
3 tablespoons black chia seeds
1 cup quinoa, cooked
1/4 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons Greek yoghurt
1 tablespoon Sriracha hot sauce
1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate paste
1 red chili, finely sliced
1 lime, cut into wedges to serve
handful of coriander and mint leaves, to garnish
Fried shallots, to garnish

In a large snap-lock bag, combine chicken, coconut milk, lemongrass, sriracha and a pinch of salt, submerge in warm water and seal completely, removing excess air.

Poach chicken for 12 minutes at 68 degrees celsius (see here for more in depth details).

Deseed cucumber and finely dice, setting aside in a bowl with a sprinkle of sea salt to draw out the moisture and maintain crunch. Before adding to the salad, squeeze out excess liquid.

Meanwhile, combine 1/4 cup of coconut milk, 2 tablespoons greek yoghurt, sriracha, and tamarind paste to form the dressing for the salad.

Dry toast slivered almonds in a pan until golden brown, and set aside.

Tear chicken into bite-sized pieces and leave to cool.

Combine quinoa, chicken, almonds, chia seeds, cucumber, chili, and half of the dressing in a bowl. Add extra dressing, depending on taste and consistency, and serve with lime wedges, fried shallots and mint and coriander leaves.

Apply liberally to face in the same way you would Kraft cheese.

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