Friday, 25 July 2008

Poached Chicken with White Beans and Salsa Verde

This is a beautiful summer recipe which can be served warm or cold. I'm a relatively new convert to salsa verde, but the intense flavours are incredible. I found the original recipe at Times Online.

Poached Chicken with White Beans and Salsa Verde

2 organic chicken breasts

1 onion

2 bay leaves

6 peppercorns

1 lemon

1 spring rosemary and/or thyme

white beans - soaked overnight and cooked for one hour

baby spinach

1 big handful parsley

1 handful fresh basil

1 handful fresh mint

6 anchovies

1 tbsp capers

olive oil

garlic cloves

If you are using dried beans, set them simmering whilst you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Place a deep frying pan on the hob and fill with enough water to cover the chicken fillets. Add half an onion, the peppercorns, half a lemon (sliced), the bay leaves, the thyme and rosemary to the water. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Add the chicken breasts and simmer over a low heat for 15 minutes or until cooked through. Remove the fillets from the water (the original recipe advises to leave them in but I find this makes them tough) and slice on a diagonal into hearty chunks.

Make the salsa verde by blending the parsley, basil, mint, 2 garlic cloves, 6 anchovies, the capers and a good glug of olive oil. I used my trusty hand blender to whizz up the sauce.

Mix the cooked white beans in a bowl along with shredded spinach leaves (I also used a handful of rockett), a glug of olive oil and the juice of the other half of the lemon. Season with salt and pepper and toss until well combined.

Pile the beans and spinach into the centre of a plate, top with the chicken chunks and spoon dollops of the lovely fresh salsa verde on top.

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