Flinders Lane in New York City’s East Village is an excellent place to celebrate Australian cuisine. Helmed by chef Chris Rendell, the restaurant highlights the country’s heavy Southeast Asian influences, as evident in this super-refreshing coconut poached chicken salad. Rendell says that the salad works on a ton of levels all throughout the year.
“I think the best thing about the poached chicken salad is that it’s a dish for all seasons,” he says. “The little bit of heat warms you up in cooler times, and in the summer, the fresh mint and bean sprouts add a refreshing kick.”
- 1 cup peanuts, shelled
- 4 chicken breasts, cleaned and skin off
- 1 2/3 cups coconut milk
- 13 teaspoons fish sauce (8 teaspoons for the peanuts, 5 teaspoons to poach the chicken)
- 8 teaspoons confectioners' sugar
- 4 1/4 tablespoons palm sugar
- 1 tablespoon chili jam or sauce
- 5 teaspoons lime juice
- 2 red chilies, julienned
- 1/2 medium-sized coconut, white meat removed and grated
- 1 bunch scallions, cut in rounds
- Lime leaf, cut in chiffonade (rolled tight and cut in long strips)
- cilantro leaves, picked
- Vietnamese mint
- fresh bean sprouts
- snow peas, blanched and finely julienned
- 10 red shallots, finely sliced
- lime zest, minced
For the peanuts
Marinate the peanuts in fish sauce and confectioners’ sugar, just enough to coat the peanuts (use equal amounts of fish sauce and confectioners’ sugar). Allow to marinate for 20 minutes and roast them in the oven at 300F until golden, about 15 minutes. (Note: once marinated, they can also be kept in an airtight container).
For the chicken
Place the chicken, coconut milk, palm sugar, and fish sauce in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and poach gently for 10–12 minutes. Reserve the poaching liquid, which will be used as the coconut dressing.
Remove from heat and allow to cool. Remove chicken from saucepan to a cutting board and cut into strips. Stir the chili jam into the coconut milk and taste. Adjust if necessary.
For the salad
To the chicken add julienned chilies, shaved coconut, sliced scallions, lime leaf, blanched and sliced snow peas, minced lime zest, cilantro, mint, bean sprouts, and shallots. Stir to mix well. Top with coconut dressing and roasted peanuts.