Grilled Chicken Salad with Lavender and Sweet Herbs, Lavender may seem like an odd salad ingredient, but its delightful scent has a natural affinity with sweet garlic, orange, and other wild herbs.
A serving of cornmeal polenta makes this salad both filling and delicious.
Grilled Chicken Salad with Lavender and Sweet Herbs Ingredients:
- 4 boneless chicken breasts
- 3 ¾ cups light chicken stock
- 1 cup polenta or cornmeal
- 2 oz. butter
- 1 lb. young spinach
- 6 oz. lamb’s lettuce
- 8 sprigs fresh lavender
- 8 small tomatoes, halved
- Salt and pepper
- 6 fresh lavender flowers
- 2 tsp. finely grated orange zest
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 tsp. clear honey
- 2 tbsp. olive oil, French or Italian
- 2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
- 2 tsp. chopped fresh marjoram
- pinch of salt
- To make the marinade, strip the lavender flowers from the stems and combine with the orange zest, garlic, honey, and salt. Add the olive oil and herbs. Score the chicken deeply, spread the mixture over the chicken, and leave to marinate in a cool place for at least 20 minutes.
- To make the polenta, bring the chicken stock to a boil in a heavy saucepan. Add the cornmeal in a steady stream, stirring all the time until thick: this take 2-3 minutes. Turn the cooked polenta out on to a 1-in-deep buttered tray until allow to cool.
- Heat the broiler to a moderate temperature. (If using a barbecue, let the embers settle to a steady glow.) Broil the chicken for 15 minutes, turning once.
- Cut the polenta into 1 in cubes with a wet knife. Heat the butter in a large skillet and fry the polenta until golden.
- Wash the salad leaves and spin dry, then divide between 4 large plates. Slice each chicken breast and lay over the salad. Place the polenta among the salad; decorate with sprigs of lavender and tomatoes, season and serve.
COOK’S TIP : Lavender marinade is a delicious flavouring for fish as well as chicken. Try it over broiled cod, haddock, halibut, sea bass, and bream.