When you first read the title of this recipe you may find the idea of a pineapple and cucumber salad rather strange – but I promise you it really works and offsets the chicken which is cooked with soy, honey, ginger and chilli. The pieces of chicken are really succulent and a great contrast to this refreshing simple salad. I leave the core in on the pineapple when I dice it but you can take it out if you wish.
In my student days in London, I lived next door to a malaysian girl and she used to make this all the time as it was easy to do in our tiny bedsits. This is a really quick recipe in terms of the time it takes you to put together and doesn,t need any fancy cooking equipment. It is also a recipe that is easy to scale up or down.
If you dont want to joint the chicken yourself I would get the packs of mixed chicken drumsticks and thighs that the supermarkets sell for about £3 – and you only need a small pineapple – preferably only just ripe or just under (which is just as well as that is all supermarkets seem to have on the shelves!).
STICKY CHICKEN WITH CUCUMBER AND PINEAPPLE SALAD (Serves 4)
- 4 chicken drumsticks and 4 chicken thighs (or chicken jointed into 8 pieces)
- 4 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp nam pla (fish sauce)
- 4 tbsp runny honey
- thumb size piece of grated fresh ginger
- 1 red chilli finely chopped (seeds optional)
- 4 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
- 1 small pineapple, peeled and diced
- 1/2 cucumber, seeds removed and diced
- Juice of one lime
- Handful of fresh coriander, chopped
Set the oven to 180C, 360F, Gas Mark 4
Line a roasting tin with foil to save on washing up!
Mix together the soy sauce, fish sauce, honey, ginger and chilli in the roasting tin to form a sticky glaze.
Add the chicken pieces making sure that they are well covered in the mixture and put in oven for 45 mins basting regularly (I do it at about 20, 30 and 40 mins)
In the meantime put together the cucumber and pineapple on the base of your serving plate, dressing with the lime juice and about two thirds of the coriander
When the chicken is cooked, arrange on serving plate, sprinkle with sesame seeds and remaining coriander drizzling a little of the remaining cooking juices onto the salad underneath
This is wonderful served with rice drizzled with a little toasted sesame oil.
TIPS AND ALTERNATIVES
I keep fresh ginger in the freezer and is easily grated from frozen If you are going to want to use it peeled, do that before you put it in and do it with a spoon – that way you waste much less.
I always serve this dish with rice dressed with a little toasted sesame oil if I am having it as a main course – and do remember that the chicken is just as good eaten cold the next day (as is the salad!) so it can easily be taken on a picnic as well as eaten as a home meal.