Sticky Kicking Chicken With Watermelon Radish Salad And Crunchy Noodles

Enjoy this fresh and fabulous dinner that combines Asian-style chicken, fruit and crunchy salad, says Jane Wilkinson.

The best thing about cooking in the warmer months is that there are so many delicious seasonal fruits, such as the watermelon in this recipe, that can enliven sometimes boring salads. My six-year-old son Max confessed that the radish was the only vegetable he didn’t like, but at least he tried it.

Preparation and Cooking Time: 15 minutes (following the exact instructions in the book)
Serves: 4

200g thin rice noodles
Sesame oil
800g watermelon
2 mini cos lettuces
1 handful radishes
½ bunch fresh mint
½ bunch fresh coriander
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1 tbs Chinese five-spice
Olive oil
2 tbs sweet chilli sauce
2 tbs sesame seeds
2 tbs reduced-salt soy sauce
1 tbs fish sauce
½-1 fresh red chilli
½ thumb-sized piece ginger
2 spring onions
2 limes
1 small garlic clove

In a small bowl, fully submerge the noodles in boiling water. On a large sheet of greaseproof paper, toss the chicken, salt, pepper and the five-spice. Fold over the paper, then bash and flatten the chicken to 1.5cm thick with a rolling pin.

Put the chicken into a large frying pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil, turning after 3 or 4 minutes, or until nicely charred and cooked through.

Drain the noodles and toss with 1 tablespoon sesame oil on a big serving platter. Put one-quarter of the noodles in a medium frying pan, tossing regularly until nice and crunchy.

Remove the watermelon skin, cut the flesh into erratic chunks, and add to the platter. Trim the lettuces and cut into small wedges. Halve the radishes, finely slice the top leafy half of the mint and most of the top leafy half of the coriander, and scatter over the platter. Put the coriander stalks into the liquidizer with the soy and the fish sauces, chilli, peeled ginger, trimmed spring onions, a splash of water, 1 tablespoon sesame oil and the lime juice. Squash in the unpeeled garlic through a garlic crusher, then wiz until smooth.

Drain away any excess fat from the chicken pan, put back on the heat, drizzle with the sweet chilli sauce and toss with the sesame seeds. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently with clean fingers until well coated, then break the crispy noodles.

Transfer the chicken to a dish for serving with an extra sprinkling of coriander leaves.

From: Jamie’s 15-Minute Meals
Publisher: Penguin Australia
Available: Now
ISBN: 9780718157807
RRP: $49.99 (hardback)

photo: David Loftus,  Jaime Oliver Enterprises limited 2012