Not long to Christmas now.
Here in Australia, it's dang hot during the Festive Season. So I tend to try to find do ahead type dishes that allow us to chill on the day...literally and figuratively.
This is a firm favourite for any time of year here, but especially at Christmas. It yields a full flavoured, moist and succulent result, that you just don't get with baking or pan frying. Once you've tried chicken breast prepared this way, there's not turning back.
Approximately 1 skinless chicken breast per person (that is half of a full breast of chicken)
6 cups of stock or flavour infused water
One large saucepan or wok with a firm fitting lid
One large container with lid for storage
Bring your flavour infused water or stock to a slow boil. Ideas for flavours include commercial stock cubes, peppercorns and bay leaves, half commercial stock with half coconut milk and kaffir lime leaves and coriander (cilantro), white wine and vegetable stock.
Pop the skinless chicken breasts into the simmering stock and return to the boil. Put the lid on and switch OFF. Yes...off. This works best on an electric hotplate where the heat subsides slowly, but can still be achieved with gas by giving the water another heat blast after about ten minutes of resting. Rest the whole thing, lid on-no peeking, for about 25 minutes.
Check the chicken breasts by slicing one in half (you'll be slicing them for serving anyway). They should be moist and juicy and succulent. If they are still pinkish or raw in the thickest part, return to the stock and rest for a further 10 minutes, reheating the stock just a tad first. Dont' boil it or the chicken will become tough!
Store the breasts in the cooking liquid until ready to use. This keeps them juicy. These can be prepared up to 48 hours ahead of use.
To serve, carve across the breast diagonally into thick slices and arrange attractively on your serving platter.
Seve over a finely sliced home made coleslaw, and garnish with anything from salsa, to guacamole, to fresh mango and coriander (cilantro), to dukkah, as pictured. My festive dukkah is a ground combination of nuts, dates and citrus zest and is utterly delicious if I do say so myself!
But that recipe is for another day...
What's on your Tray of Bliss today?