Sunday, November 24, 2013

Paprika chicken and pineapple salad

Photo by Steve Shanahan

First published Canberra Times October 9 2013.
The buzzing chorus of Sunday lawnmowers and the competing cicada crescendo leave you in no doubt that summer is just around the corner. 

Add to the din the sizzle of lunch grilling on the backyard barbeque, and Mum calling out from the kitchen for someone to check that the meat doesn’t burn, makes my Sunday complete.

As the deliciously crisp offerings make their way to the table and the dog follows with his nose expectantly upturned, the unmistakeable aroma of sweet cooked pineapple floats in the air.

For those who love their pineapple cooked, this one is for you. The barbeque caramelises the sugars in this tropical delight, and makes a perfect partner to onion, basil and coconut.

Best served with a barbequed meat, but my vote goes to pre-marinated
Paprika Grilled Chicken.

Pineapple salad
1 ripe whole pineapple, sliced into 2cm thick rings
2 medium red onions, sliced into thick rings, keeping them intact.
1 lemon, juice and zest
4 tbsp olive oil
12 basil leaves
4 tbsp shredded coconut
2 tbsp chopped green shallots

Preheat the barbeque to a medium heat.
Drizzle the pineapple slices and onion rings with the olive oil. Grill the pineapple and onion rings until golden and the grill marks appear on the softened flesh. This will take about five to six minutes each side. They should be lightly charred.

Slice the pineapple into chunks and chop the onion rings, then combine in a serving bowl. Add the basil leaves, shallots and coconut before drizzling with lemon juice and a light sprinkle of lemon zest. Toss before serving warm or at room temperature.

Paprika chicken
6 boneless chicken thighs
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp Tamari or low sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tsp smoky paprika
1 clove chopped garlic
1 tbsp brown sugar
½ tsp sea salt
ground pepper
4 tbsp olive oil

Setting the chicken aside, mix all of the marinade ingredients together, and pour into a resealable bag or large bowl. Place the chicken thighs in the bag, or bowl, seal the bag and rub to coat the chicken with the marinade. Leave for a few hours to infuse and massaging the chicken occasionally to distribute the marinade.

Preheat the barbeque to a medium heat.

Remove the chicken from the marinade, allowing the excess to drip off. Grill until the chicken has cooked about seven minutes per side, checking for doneness. Discard any remaining marinade.

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