Saturday 7 December 2019

Recipe: Super Quick Chicken Salad

Sophie White writes about always being late and making amends with her go to supper quick fix

The world's largest chicken breeder has discovered that a key breed of rooster has a genetic issue that is reducing its fertility
The world's largest chicken breeder has discovered that a key breed of rooster has a genetic issue that is reducing its fertility
Sophie White

Sophie White

I am late for everything. Being late is my natural state.

My lateness is not even my fault. It is actually a genetic trait inherited from my mother's side of the family. We are all hopelessly late people. If I am ever preparing to leave the house, and it looks like I am actually going to be on time for an appointment, subconsciously, I will immediately begin to self-sabotage.

I will lose my phone – only to find it in my handbag 15 minutes later. Or I will leave the house, get to the top of the road and have to turn back because of a completely unfounded paranoia that I've left a candle burning, or the oven on.

During my pregnancy, I was late signing up for the antenatal course. I didn't think I was particularly late in starting, but, the way the midwives were acting, you'd think the child was half out of me by the time I eventually got to my first class. I allowed Herself to accompany me to the first class, with predictable results. Basically, I became the class pariah when Herself publicly lambasted La Leche League, to the horror of the midwives, and then told everyone that I (in my conniving way, it seemed to be implied) had given her mastitis.

I swiftly set about convincing Himself to attend with me, as it was, after all, a couples class. By attending solo, I was making the other expectant mothers nervous; until Himself showed up, I think they thought that I was prowling for a daddy for my baby.

The world's largest chicken breeder has discovered that a key breed of rooster has a genetic issue that is reducing its fertility

On the day Himself was due to join me, we had arranged to meet in the class. I was just getting ready to leave the house, and congratulating myself on what incredible time I was making. At the rate I was going, I was about to set a new personal best for minimal lateness (I would probably arrive just five or so minutes after the scheduled start of class). I was carrying my bike through the house when I made a fatal error and left the back door open while lifting the bike out on to the street. The front door banged shut behind me, locking me out.

As I am quite accustomed to being late, I immediately relaxed into the new scenario. The front door was locked, everything I needed was on the other side of that door, the back door was wide open and I'd probably left a candle burning somewhere.

I immediately began to knock on neighbours' doors to see if anyone would let me jump over their garden wall to gain access to my yard. Eventually, I got an answer several gardens away.

A few garden walls later, and I was heading out my front door for real this time, and still only 25 minutes late for class. Result!

Sadly, for Himself, it was during this period of class that the midwife spoke about perineum massage. When I did finally get there, he looked visibly shaken and, when I sat down, hissed in my ear, "Where the fuck have you been? A lone man in an antenatal class is not a good look. They think I'm some kind of creepy pregnancy enthusiast."

That evening, I prepared this Asian-style chicken salad. It's my go-to quick dinner when I'm running late, though, with the images of perineum massage still playing on a loop inside his head, Himself indicated he may be turning veggie pretty soon. "At least it's not sushi," I announced cheerfully.

Chicken Salad
(Serves 2)

1 tablespoon sesame oil

2 chicken breasts, finely chopped or 300g (11oz) minced chicken

Pinch of salt

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated

1 clove garlic, grated

Juice of one lime

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

Pinch dried chilli flakes

4 spring onions, finely sliced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

2 generous handfuls of crunchy salad leaves

1 mango, peeled and chopped

Lime wedges, to serve


* Heat the sesame oil in a pan over a medium to high heat, and add the finely chopped chicken breasts or the minced chicken, whichever you're using, a pinch of salt, the grated ginger and the grated garlic, then stir until the chicken is cooked through.

*Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lime juice, the rice wine vinegar, the dried chilli flakes, the sliced spring onions and the chopped fresh coriander, mint and basil. Divide the salad leaves and the chopped mango between two bowls and pour the warm chicken mix over.

*Serve with the lime wedges.

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