Lemongrass-poached chicken with harissa tomatoes

lemongrass poached chicken

Serves 2

1 tsp sea salt
1 bunch coriander, rinsed well
1 lemongrass stem, white part only, coarsely chopped
4cm piece fresh ginger, sliced
1 tbsp black pepper corns
juice of 1 lemon
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast fillets
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground coriander
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 red onion, thinly sliced
3 ripe Roma tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 tbsp harissa*
lime wedges to serve

To poach the chicken, fill a large saucepan with 1 litre (4 cups) water and add the sea salt, peppercorns, lemongrass, ginger, 1 tbsp of the lemon juice and the stems and roots from the coriander. Bring to boil.

When the water has reached a slow boil, add the chicken breasts and return to the boil, then cover with a lid and remove the pan from the heat.

Set aside for 20 minutes to allow the residual heat to gently poach the chicken.

For harissa tomatoes:

Heat the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat and add the cumin, coriander, garlic and onion.  Cook, stirring occasionally for 3 minutes, or until the onion is soft and the spices are fragrant.  Add the tomatoes and cook for about 2 minutes.  Add the remaining lemon juice and a handful of roughly chopped coriander leaves.

Remove the chicken from the poaching liquid and thinly slice against the grain.  Divide the chicken between bowls, top with the cooked tomatoes and garnish with the remaining coriander.  Serve with lime wedges (and some steamed couscous if you’re feeling hungry).

*You can buy harissa in paste form in a tube or in a powder  (from Herbie’s Spices).  I prefer the powder.