Paprika chicken with watercress, pomegranate and pecan
At once both sweet and tart and warm, not to mention being full of anti-oxidants, this salad is also utterly divine and very easy to make. I made a couple of changes having made it first as above and then as it was written once I had the correct ingredients (sumac instead of paprika and walnuts instead of pecans). I preferred my version so that’s what I’ve put here. You could easily bulk up the veg element with blanched green beans, ribbons of courgette (zucchini) or roasted pumpkin. It seems like a lot of garlic and I wondered about the serving suggestion of aioli but it really enhances the flavour and adds a creamy element that is just delicious. Andrew and I fight over the last little bit in the bowl, ‘No, you have it, really.’ ‘No, no, it’s all yours.’ ‘Honestly, I insist…oh alright then, I’ll have it…’
8 new potatoes, sliced thickly lengthways
3 tbsp. olive oil,
4 garlic cloves, crushed
4 chicken breasts, skin-on
1 tbsp. paprika
2 tsp ras el hanout (or Moroccan spice mix)
1 bunch watercress, sprigs picked
2 handfuls of baby salad leaves of your choice
1 cup pecan nuts, well toasted
1 cup/handful flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp. pomegranate molasses
fresh pomegranate (I used the seeds from 1 bashed out with the back of a wooden spoon, one of my fave jobs in the world!)
Preheat oven to 200 C or 180 C fan forced. Line an oven tray with greaseproof paper. Add potato and crushed garlic cloves, drizzle over 1 tbsp oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Roast, turning occasionally for about 25 – 30 mins.
Meanwhile, combine spices and 1 tbsp. oil in a bowl or zip-lock bag and add chicken. Coat well in spices (you can do this in advance if you want).
Heat an oven-proof pan over a medium heat (if you don’t have a saute pan suitable use a frying pan and transfer to an oven tray) and add the chicken, skin-side down. Turn over and seal other side then place in the oven for 10 mins or until just cooked through. Remove from oven and rest for 5 mins.
Combine potato, watercress, leaves, pecans and parsley in a large bowl. Drizzle over lemon juice, molasses and last tbsp. olive oil. Toss to combine. Divide among serving plates or place in large salad bowl.
Slice chicken, place on top of leaves, sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.
Serve with generous amounts of good quality aioli.