Indian Spiced Barbecue Chicken with Spinach, Mango & Avocado Salad

To be completely consistent I am again posting this while lying in bed (I must be seeming like the most lazy person in the universe...), but this time it's from Shanghai! It is -1˚ outside, windy and a bleak, cold morning, so I'm not feeling any great inclination to leap out of bed. This is the final leg of my trip - in the last 12 days I have traveled from Auckland to Shanghai, Berlin, Amsterdam, Berlin, and back to Shanghai and tomorrow night we head home to Auckland. Everywhere I have been I have walked and walked, exploring, eating, shopping (a little) and endlessly taking photos. The Amsterdam leg was frustratingly difficult as I had a rotten cold and temperature while I was there, but that couldn't dull the excitement of being in Holland for the first time. I have eaten (and learned to make) Chinese dumplings, scoffed German butter cake, meatballs and currywurst, Dutch olliebollen, stroopwaffel and apple cake, drunk vats of coffee and enjoyed a tipple or two - basically I will be waddling home...! It has been fantastic - there really is nothing like travel for creative inspiration - but now I am ready to get home to my lovelies, to see Henry before he flies out to his new home in Melbourne (he tells me I really must stop calling it a 'trip', he is actually moving there...), and to see Rich for his last two weeks before moving to Wellington to go to university. Omfg (as the kids would say), its going to be an actual empty nest. I'm not going to dwell on that too deeply now, but no doubt once the reality kicks in it will be a different story.

In the meantime, and to stop myself blathering on, hows about this recipe I did for Fairfax then!? It is a fab Indian spiced barbecue chicken, with a simple spinach salad with sweet mango, creamy avocado, fresh mint, a little chilli kick and a refreshing yoghurt dressing. Tuck the spicy chicken and fresh salad into a piece of Indian bread and the combination is bloody delicious! For the southern hemisphere you can take it outside and barbecue the chicken for a great summer dinner, while in the north the spice can add a bit of heat to a freezing cold evening. Wherever you are, I hope you give it a go at some stage, it's just too easy and tasty not to! Next time, it'll be business as usual and I'll be posting from my normal bed at home!!! See you soon :)

Indian barbecue chicken
Serves: 6
Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 10-12 minutes

2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon curry powder
pinch cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon runny honey
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ cup tomato sauce
1/3 cup high smoke point flavourless oil such as Rice Bran
12-14 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2/3 cup mango chutney (I used Barkers Peach & Mango chutney)
Indian flatbreads to serve
3 limes, halved

Put spices, honey, lime juice garlic, tomato sauce and ¼ cup oil in a bowl and whisk to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Trim chicken thighs and slice in half. Place in marinade, stir to coat, cover and leave for 1 hour or up to over night. Heat the barbecue to medium hot and brush the hot plate or grill with a little remaining oil. Cook the chicken 6-7 minutes each side or until cooked through (slice to check that there is no pink remaining). Heat flatbreads for 5 minutes, either in the oven or by popping on a spare bit of grill plate, then serve immediately with chicken, salad, mango chutney, lime halves and Indian flatbreads.

Mango, Spinach and Avocado Salad
Serves: 6
Prep time: 5 mins
Cooking time: -

1 cup plain yoghurt
½ teaspoon cumin
finely grated zest of 1 lime
2 tbsp lime juice
2 teaspoons runny honey
1/3 cup coriander leaves
1/3 cup mint leaves
6 cups spinach leaves
1 large avocado, sliced
1 mango, cut into 2cm cubes
2 spring onions, finely sliced
½ red chilli, seeded and finely chopped

Put yoghurt, cumin, lime zest and juice and honey in a small bowl and whisk well to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss herbs with spinach and layer onto a serving plate with avocado, mango and spring onions. Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with chilli and remaining herbs to serve.

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