Chargrilled leek, spring onion and halloumi salad with tea-smoked chicken


For the salad
  • 4 leeks, trimmed
  • 12 spring onions
  • 250g/9oz halloumi cheese, cut into slices
  • 1 tbsp capers, rinsed, drained and roughly chopped
  • 20g/¾oz sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • ½ lemon, juice only
  • 2 baby Little Gem lettuces, cut into wedges
  • 75g/3oz rocket
For the chicken
  • 1 onion, cut into quarters
  • 1 carrot, cut into chunks
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh flatleaf parsley
  • 4 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • 100g/4oz basmati rice
  • 2 tbsp jasmine tea
  • 2 tbsp demerara sugar
  • oil, for greasing

Preparation method

  1. For the salad, heat a pan of water until boiling, then place a steamer on top. Place the leeks and spring onions into the steamer, cover with a lid and steam for 2-3 minutes, until just tender.

  2. Meanwhile, heat a griddle pan until hot and griddle the halloumi for one minute on each side, or until charred. Remove from the griddle and set aside. Griddle the leeks and spring onions until charred on all sides, then set aside.

  3. Place the capers and sun-dried tomatoes into a bowl, add the olive oil, vinegar and lemon juice and mix well.

  4. Cut the charred vegetables and cheese into chunks and place into a large bowl. Add the lettuce and rocket, pour over the dressing and stir to coat.

  5. For the chicken, fill a large saucepan with water and add the onion, carrot, thyme and parsley. Bring to a simmer, then add the chicken. Bring back to a simmer and poach for 6-8 minutes, or longer for larger chicken breasts. Remove from the water and pat dry with kitchen paper.

  6. Place a piece of foil in the bottom of a wok, top with the uncooked rice, tea and sugar and cover with a lid. Place on the heat for 3-4 minutes, until the tea starts to smoke. (NB: Tea-smoking generates a lot of smoke. Be sure that you open the windows and get as much ventilation as you can.)

  7. Place the poached chicken onto an oiled piece of foil in a steamer, then set the steamer inside the wok. Place a lid on the steamer and heat for 2-3 minutes, or until the chicken is lightly smoked and completely cooked through.

  8. To serve, divide the salad among four serving plates. Cut the chicken into slices and place on top of the salad on each plate.

James Martin recipes from Saturday Kitchen Best Bites

Less than 30 mins preparation time

10 to 30 mins cooking time

Serves 4

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