Monday 9 December 2019

Forkful's speedy suppers: Chicken and chorizo salad

Chicken and chorizo salad.
Chicken and chorizo salad.

Aoife McElwain

This time of year asks a lot of us. Most of us are a little broke after the generosity of Christmas, and there's the necessary health and well-being damage control after a season of partying. Perhaps more than any other time of year, we need our suppers to be affordable, comforting and speedy.

Chicken and chorizo are a trustworthy team and this week's salad makes the most of their complementary flavours.

For chorizo, I try to seek out Gubeen chorizo. It's produced in West Cork by Fingal Ferguson, son to Gianna and Tom Ferguson of Gubeen Cheese. Ferguson makes cured salami too, but it's his cooking chorizo that has saved my bacon in the kitchen on many a tired evening.

It's rare that a chicken breast is cooked in my house. I usually plump for a whole roast chicken, and use leftovers for a few follow-up suppers, or I pick up free-range chicken legs on the bone from the butcher in Fallon & Byrne. This method of flattening the chicken breast slightly, which is one I learned from Jamie Oliver ("bish bash bosh!"), helps achieve an even moistness.

There is a tendency wat this time of year to punish ourselves with unsustainable detox dinners, where you are hungry again an hour after eating. What's great about this chicken and chorizo salad is that it's thoroughly filling, as well as being a vessel for healthy greens at this colder time of year.

Think of it as a salad for people who don't like salads.

Chicken and chorizo salad

Serves 2

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes


For the chicken

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

2 chicken breasts

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

Pinch of salt and pepper

50g of chorizo cooking sausage

For the salad

Two large handfuls of green leaves, such as rocket

1 tablespoon of freshly chopped mint

Half a small cucumber, diced or roughly chopped

1 tablespoon of crumbled feta cheese

1 large mild chilli, de-seeded and sliced

For the dressing

1 tablespoon of honey

3 tablespoons of rapeseed oil

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

Pinch of salt and pepper


1. Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan over a medium to high heat.

2. Place the chicken breast on large piece of baking paper placed on top of a chopping board. Sprinkle the paprika evenly over the chicken breasts, and a squeeze of the lemon juice. Sprinkle generously with a pinch of salt and pepper. Fold the parchment paper so that it covers the chicken and hit the chicken through the paper with a rolling pin, until it is evenly flat but not too thin. Fry the chicken breasts in the hot frying pan, whole, for four minutes on each side.

3. Slice the chorizo into rounds and cook alongside the chicken breasts for the last 4 minutes. Once cooked through, remove from the heat and allow the chicken to rest for a minute before slicing it into neat chunks.

4. In a large salad bowl, toss the salad greens with the chopped mint, chopped cucumber, crumbled cheese and sliced chillis.

5. Make the dressing by mixing together the honey, rapeseed oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

6. Add the chicken and chorizo to the salad bowl. Serve warmed or cold, with the dressing drizzled over the top.

This week's storecupboard essential:

Rapeseed Oil: Rapeseed oil works beautifully as a component of salad dressing. Its golden colour hints at its rich flavour and it's produced widely in Ireland. Derrycamma Rapeseed Oil, produced in Co Louth, is one of my favourites.

Photo: Mark Duggan 

Irish Independent

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