My kids will eat any meat. As long as it`s chicken. And they groan loudly when they see chicken, again. Seems I can`t win.
So, the second I read Domini Kemp`s recipe for Grilled Saffron and Chilli Chicken in last Saturday`s Irish Times, I knew it would tick a zillion boxes. Heck, even I`d probably eat it.
The other big plus was that I`d finally get to use the saffron threads I`d been clinging to for the past five years.
Saffron`s made from the little threads inside the crocus flower. I have no idea what the flavour is like, but I love the orange colour punch. And I think it`s cool that someone somewhere in a fit of boredom or desperation thought Why, I must pinch out those little nectar scented strands and toss them into my rice this evening and see what happens. Then, zing! that moment of inspiration became a world wide obssession and saffron mania was born.
Ok, I exagggerate just a teeny bit. But don`t you just love that dinky little jar that holds my saffron?
Got it from a pal as a gift after her travels in Spain. I just so loved the jar that initially, didn`t even want to uncork it. It was all just too cute to even open. I got over that after a few years when I realised I was depriving myself of much needed crocus nutrition.
Mind you, if I didn`t have the saffron, I`d have tried making Domini`s recipe without. The chicken recipe already calls for lots and lots of mint. Plus cardamon, honey, garlic and chilli. All of it marinating for at least an hour, so the chicken`s totally stuffed with flavours before it hits the pan.
Yes, chargrilling is called for, but I don`t have a chargrill pan, so I just fried it in an ordinary one.
One thing I do have though, is a mini chopper. I just am nuts about this little guy. So nuts, in fact, that if you`re a close pal, you`re in danger of getting one at Christmas. Yep, that`s how far I take my faith in mini choppers; I`d even risk losing your friendship over one.
I used this to whizz up all the flavourings for the marinade. Mint leaves, cardamon, chilli, garlic and water soaked saffron strands, all blitzed in seconds. Tossed the chicken around in the marinade and left it for an hour.
Used the mini chopper again to make the dressing for the Ginger and Carrot Salad. That`s another easy peasy Kemp dish. Two carrots and one very finely chopped onion are dressed with a lemon and olive oil dressing flavoured with ginger, mustard, cardamon and a squeeze of honey.
As I`d expected, the dish turned out just great. In fact I loved it so much I made it again for yesterday`s dinner. Every little morsel was devoured by me and the teens. Not a complaint from any of us. In a world full of junk food, it`s great to find really nutritious really fast food for those mad weekday evenings when time to cook is always hard to find.
And I think I`ve finally silenced the cry..
What, chicken? Again?