Goodbye Winter and HELLO Spring! Who does not love it when we get to farewell Winter for another year! Spring in North Queensland would have to be one of my favourite times of year. The mornings are still cool, the days are warm, the humidity is low and basically that is perfect weather!
Spring is also the time to ease yourself out of winter comfort food and start dreaming and thinking about quick and light summer meals. I am a big salad fan whether it is as a side dish or a complete meal. They are quick, easy to make and with such an abundance of fresh produce available in Australia the possibilities with salads are endless.
When my husband and I first met he told me he had the best Thai Red Prawn Curry recipe ever and he was not far wrong, years of experimenting with the curry sauce it was pretty much spot on. Over the years we have used that recipe as the base for some amazing curries including fish, chicken, pork and duck with zero complaints from those who eat it.
The other night with the kids requesting chicken and noodles I hunted around the pantry and fridge to find something for the adults to eat that did not result in me being in the kitchen for a significant amount of time.
With some fresh salad ingredients in the fridge and some coconut milk and curry paste I decided to adapt my husbands Thai Red Curry to a salad. When you search the internet for salad recipes as a main meal you will often find that many of them are "fiddly". I do not like "fiddly" 530 in the afternoon when juggling sport, arguing kids, homework and dog walking. I like simple and straightforward.
The reason I say they are "fiddly" is that they often call for you to marinate your protein which involves you making the marinade. Then there is the chopping for the salad and finally aside from cooking the protein there is the need to make an additional dressing for the salad. It does not seem like a big deal but when you factor in busy house life, a day at work who seriously wants to do all that? Not me that is for sure!
This recipe calls for the chicken to be marinated in a quick marinade with 6 ingredients that are found in your pantry and fridge and that marinade then doubles as a the dressing. Some further "hacks" and this meal, aside from 30min marinade time, is done in 25 minutes from start to finish and best of all you do not need to stand over a stove.
The curry sauce has depth of flavour of spice, sweet and sour and marry that with the crunch of the fresh salad and the fresh coriander you really do feel like you have just created an amazing at home Thai meal.
This is the perfect spring/summer lunch or dinner meal and because it tastes so good the perfect way to spend more time entertaining friends and family than being in the kitchen.
Prep 10 min // Cook 25 min
2 chicken fillets cut in half length ways to make 4 fillets
4 tbs Thai Red Curry Paste
2 tbs fish sauce
1 tsp raw sugar
1 tbs minced ginger
2 tbs minced garlic
1 cup coconut milk
1 head of lettuce (I used an oakleaf lettuce but any will do )
1 pack ready made coleslaw
1 cup of fresh coriander
1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 continental cucumber sliced
1 red onion sliced
Preheat oven to 180 degrees
In a container mix coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar, minced ginger, minced garlic and 2 tbs red curry paste until combined.
Place chicken fillets in container and marinate for 30 min.
Take chicken out of the marinade and place in a shallow roasting pan and smear 1 tbs of curry paste over the top.
Gently pour the marinade around the chicken fillets and place in oven and cook 10min. After 10 minutes turn the chicken and smear the remaining tablespoon over each fillet and cook for a further 10 min.
While the chicken is cooking assemble the salad ingredients on a platter.
After the chicken is cooked turn the oven to a high grill and grill for 2-4 minutes to char the top.
Remove the chicken and slice thickly and place over the top of the salad.
Drizzle a little of the curry sauce over the salad and place remainder in a jug.
Serve immediately with the remaining curry sauce.