24 February 2011

Steamed Chicken and Strawberry Salad

When the weather begins to start hinting at spring, I begin thinking of salad as comfort food. Last night I went for a salad, topped with chicken (oven steamed), bacon, strawberries, a balsamic-rum-strawberry dressing, and blue cheese. It was heavenly. Roll on summer!

Steamed Chicken and Strawberry Salad
Serves 2

1 tablespoon oil
2 chicken breasts
1 tablespoon seasoned flour
1/4 onion
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon rum
10 strawberries
2 rashers bacon
1/2 cup crumbled blue or goat's cheese (optional)
2 servings' worth salad leaves

Tear off a piece of foil large enough to trap everything (except the bacon and cheese) inside.

Finely chop the quarter of an onion.

Drizzle the bottom of the foil packet with the oil, and put half of the chopped onion on top. Dip the chicken breasts in seasoned flour on both sides, and place on top of the onions and oil. Scatter the remaining onion on top. Season.

Mix the balsamic vinegar and rum, season, and pour over the chicken. Add the strawberries to the packet, crimp the edges of the foil together, and put in the oven at 230 degrees (450 Fahrenheit) for twenty five minutes.

In the meantime, chop the bacon into small lardons and fry slowly on a low heat until crispy.

Once the chicken is done, pile the salad on plates and top each with a chicken breast and half of the crispy bacon. Pour the liquid from the foil packet into a jug, add the fat from the bacon pan, and stir together. Season.

Sprinkle a soft and pungent cheese over the salad if desired, and pour the dressing over to taste.

Serve warm, or cold, or somewhere in between.