Because it was sunny (it was). Because I fancied something crisp and fresh for dinner (I did). Because pomegranates were buy one, get one free (they were). That’s three sound reasons. I like pomegranates but find it odd you only eat their seeds (or arils as they are apparently called). A little fiddly to prepare, but well worth it, plus you can freeze the seeds so you always have them on hand for when you need to add a splash of purple or a dash of sweetness.
Crispy chicken and pomegranate salad
The key to this is to season the flour really well. If the chicken is well seasoned the salad doesn’t need dressing or any other additions, as the crispness of the lettuce and sweetness of the peppers and pomegranates match the chicken really well on their own.
2 baby gem lettuces
2 handfuls radishes, quartered
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper or handful of chopped capsicums
Seeds from 1 pomegranate
250g chicken breast, chopped into 2-3-inch pieces
3 tablespoons gf flour, mixed with salt and black pepper
1 egg, beaten with a tablespoon milk
1. Prepare the salad; wash and loosely tear the lettuce leaves. Top and tail the radishes and quarter them. Seed the peppers and sliced into chunks. Mix with the lettuce and arrange on plates.
2. Chop the pomegranate in half and over a bowl of water roughly tear apart from fruit and pull out the seeds. The membrane floats while the seeds sink, so they will separate in the water. With a spoon, scoop the membrane off the surface of the water, then drain the bowl into a colander and shake to remove any excess water. Sprinkle the seeds over the salad.
3. Chop the chicken breast into medium-sized chunks. Roll each piece in the seasoned flour, then dip in the egg wash and finally roll in breadcrumbs, ensuring it is thoroughly covered in crumbs.
4. Once all the chicken pieces are be-crumbed, heat about an inch of vegetable oil in a wok or deep frying pan until it is starting to crackle and pop. Gently lower the chicken pieces into the wok, making sure they are not too crowded. Cook for 5 minutes on one side, until deeply golden, then gently turn them over with a large spoon. Cook for another 5 minutes on the other side. When the pieces are golden all over, remove the largest from the pan, and check that the juices from it run clear. Remove the rest of the chicken from the pan and drain on a plate covered in kitchen towel for a minute. Then arrange over the salad and serve.
Serves 2. This goes really well with a plate of super crispy french fry-style chips. To make your own gf breadcrumbs remove the crusts from a stale loaf of gf bread. Tear it into pieces and put in a blender for 30 seconds, until quite finely chopped. Arrange the breadcrumbs on a large baking sheet and put under a preheated grill for 5 minutes, turning after 3 minutes, and checking they don’t burn. Leave them to cool, then store in an airtight bag/container in the freezer.