Honey, Coconut and Rooibos Poached Chicken with Grilled Mango Cheeks, Herb Roasted Potatoes, Braised Fennel, Baked Baby Tomatoes and Garden Fresh Rocket
This dish is Dedicated to Andre
Lots of creativity, splashed with colours and plenty of passion; this recipe was designed for you to enjoy with your loved ones and friend’s close to your heart over the festive season. It would make a stunning lunch or dinner occasion. Although it may seem a bit complicated, it’s really super simple and the flavours are ‘just divine’. So give it a shot, bring out the ol’ apron and get your creative juices into the zone, here we go…
2 Free Range Chicken Breasts; 2 Rooibos Teabags; ½ Tin Coconut Milk; 1 Cup Water; 1 Fennel Bulb (cleaned & sliced – see picture, keep some sprigs too ); 1 Fresh Mango ( peeled, cheeks sliced off & kept whole ); 1 Bunch Fresh Rocket ( as much as you like ); Couple of Sprigs Fresh Rosemary; Handful Baby Cherry Tomatoes; 2 med. Potatoes ( peeled & cut into quarters ); ¾ Teaspoon minced Garlic; 1 tbsp Honey; 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce; 1 tsp brown sugar; olive oil; rock salt; cracked black pepper.
The How To Bit –
• First let’s roast the potatoes, toss them together in a small roasting pan with the garlic, olive oil, rock salt, pepper & a healthy dose of the rosemary. Roast in a pre heated oven at 180 d celcius. Keep an eye, or two on them, making sure they get nicely browned & roasted. Keep the baby tomatoes & sliced fennel bulbs on the side, ready to be added to the roasting pan once the potatoes are about half way.
• Now, I used a cast iron skillet for the mango cheeks to get those seared lines you would expect on good grilled steak. Not to panic if you don’t have one, just use a frying pan. Drizzle the cheeks with some olive oil and sprinkle the brown sugar over them. This gives them a bit of a caramelised look and taste. Make sure the pan is almost smoking hot before grilling them. Things get a bit smoky here, so don’t worry, it’s only for a moment. Just sear the cheeks for a short while, until they get a good browning, then remove. You can finish them in the oven just before serving.
• Now for the chicken breasts. Put the water, coconut milk and two teabags into a smallish pot, slowly bring up to simmer. Allow the teabags to steep until the stock gets a nice tan colour. Add the honey and stir in. Taste it to see whether the flavour of the rooibos has infused, then remove the teabags. Now place your chicken breasts into the poaching liquid and allow to simmer for about ten minutes, turning the breasts over every couple of minutes. They will cook through and get a nice caramel colour.
• While this is happening, add your baby tomatoes and fennel to the roasting pan with the potatoes. I added a quartered onion and a whole red chilli to the roast, simply because I like it hot. If you want to spice it up then you can do the same. The chilli does change the dish quite a bit though – be warned.
• Remove the breasts now and leave the liquid to simmer a little more and reduce, add the sweet chilli and see it thicken into a delicious sauce for the plate. Sprinkle with fennel sprigs.
• Place the fresh rocket onto the plate, then add the roast potatoes, chicken breast on top of those, grilled mango onto the chicken and then simply place your baked tomatoes and fennel around the plate. Top with the onion and chilli if you choose too.
• Sauce can be served on the side or gently napped over the dish.
• Drizzle the rocket with some olive oil and season with rock salt and cracked black pepper. Enjoy.
The colours and flavours in this plate are awesome. The sauce really brings everything together, so don’t be shy. Remember to check out verdantlifekzn.com for more recipes and blogs. Here’s wishing you all a beautiful and joyous festive season, lapping up every moment of happiness, laughter, sharing and caring.
Much Love, G.