Those of you who are married or partnered, does your husband or wife find recipes in magazines or on the net and bring them to you with big smiles saying, “This looks good!” It happens frequently here. This week John handed me a grocery store magazine “with an idea,” he said.
I had to agree that it looked pretty good in the magazine (don’t they always?). It suggested mango and chilli salsa but John’s dad can’t eat anything spicy or he’s up all night, so we figured it would be just fine without the chillis on his plate. He agreed and ate every bite.
I liked this recipe because you make the lime and cumin marinade/sauce/goop and smear it over the chicken and there’s no waiting if you’re in a hurry. I was in a hurry so right after I oiled up the chicken, in the pan they went, presentation side down. Once they were all sizzled, I turned them over and then into the oven for 30 minutes. That was how long the recipe called for but maybe they had bigger pieces than I did. I will cook 20-25 minutes next time and check for doneness.
Believing that a recipe is going to be perfect as written is a bad habit of mine. If they say 30 minutes, that’s when I check. Dumb, I know. Why I assume that every recipe writer is smarter than I am – I dunno.
This meal was on the table in 40 minutes. My apologies to Jamie Oliver but rare is the day I can get a from-scratch meal on the table in under 30 minutes. It must be my age but frankly, I’ve never been able to do it, even when I was in my 20s.
- 4 chicken ½ breasts
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds, toasted
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Grated zest of two limes
- Juice of one lime
- 1½ tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Mangoes, sliced
- 1 long red chilli, thinly sliced (it's just fine without the chilli)
- 1 cup small basil leaves (or larger ones chopped)
- 1 cup small mint leaves (or larger ones chopped)
- Preheat oven to 200C/400F
- Using a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic, cumin seeds and salt until a coarse paste forms.
- Add lime zest and juice and oil and stir to combine.
- Smear marinade all over the chicken
- In a hot frying pan or grill pan cook the chicken presentation side down first until slightly charred.
- Turn over and brown on the other side - just another minute.
- Place the frying pan in the oven (or transfer to a baking pan like I did) and roast for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through. Don't overcook chicken - it's tough and disgusting.
- Combine the mango, chilli, basil and mint.
- Rest chicken for 5-7 minutes and slice and transfer to a serving dish and drizzle over pan juices.
- Serve with the salsa.