Quick and easy chicken, peach & Feta salad

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This very simple and very low-fat salad is made in moments and is an immensely satisfying dish in its own right, not to mention being one of the nicest salads you can eat. And while this is a healthy salad, it doesn’t taste healthy – a bonus in my book!

The salad is packed with flavours that complement each other beautifully:

  • juicy ripe peaches
  • salty Feta
  • Serrano ham
  • peppery wild rocket
  • lightly poached chicken breast

A slightly smoky and minty crème fraiche dressing finishes things off. I use just a little barbeque sauce in the dressing, which adds a subtle smokyness to the dressing without over-powering it. I also give the remains of the peaches a little squeeze to get more of the juice to add to the dressing.

The juice from the peaches is quite heavenly as it mingles with the other ingredients, giving a very refreshing feel to each mouthful: but take a forkful of each ingredient and you have a real flavour explosion.

Lower fat but high flavour

Normally I am not a fan of lower-fat ingredients in my baking and general cooking as all too often they taste inferior. However, I tried a lower-fat Feta for this salad which actually tasted excellent.

With all the other ingredients in the salad, you just need one chicken breast to serve two generously, but you can of course use more chicken. I love poached chicken as it is so moist and, if poached in stock, flavoursome, but a grilled or barbequed chicken works very well.

You can also add lighly toasted pine nuts or walnuts to the salad.

To save time even further, poach the chicken the day before, storing it in the fridge.

Recipe: chicken, peach & Feta salad – serves 2

Salad

  • 1 free-range chicken breast
  • about 300ml stock (or use water flavoured with salt, pepper and fresh herbs such as rosemary and/or thyme)
  • a couple of generous handfuls of wild rocket (or any salad leaves)
  • 3-4 strips of Serrano or Parma ham, torn into small pieces
  • 2 ripe peaches. peeled and sliced (or leave the peel on)
  • about 80g Feta cheese, cut into small cubes

Dressing

  • about 3 tablespoons light crème fraiche
  • a little of the peach juice, squeezed from the peach off-cuts
  • 1 teaspoon of barbeque sauce (a smoky sauce is wonderful here)
  • a few mint leaves, finely chopped
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

(1) Put the stock in a pan and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the chicken and poach gently for about 10 minutes. Remove from the liquid and set aside to cool. Slice thinly.

(2) Mix the remaining salad ingredients in a serving bowl, along with the chicken pieces.

(3) Mix the dressing ingredients together. Taste, and add more seasoning or barbeque sauce if you feel it needs it – just go sparingly with the sauce.

(4) Spoon the dressing over the salad or gently mix in. Enjoy!

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