Smoked chicken and fruit salad

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About this recipe: With tender smoked chicken, mixed rice and refreshing melon and pineapple, this salad is as satisfying as it is delicious. It doesn't have an oil-based dressing to pile on the calories – just freshly squeezed orange juice and the juices from the other fruits. This salad is best eaten on the day it is made.

Norma MacMillan

Ingredients
Serves: 4 

  • 340 g (12 oz) mixed long-grain rice and wild rice
  • 300 g (10½ oz) skinned and boned smoked chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 250 g (9 oz) melon flesh, such as Galia, some scooped into balls and the rest cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 250 g (9 oz) pineapple flesh, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • finely grated zest and juice of 1 large orange
  • salt and pepper
  • To serve
  • Cos lettuce leaves
  • 4 tbsp finely chopped fresh tarragon or parsley

Method
Prep:45min  ›  Cook:15min  ›  Ready in:1hr 

  1. Put the long-grain and wild rice in a saucepan and add water to cover by a depth of 4 cm (1 1/2 in). Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes or until tender (or according to the packet instructions). Drain well in a colander and set aside to cool.
  2. Tip the cooled rice into a large bowl. Add the chicken, melon and pineapple, and fold together gently.
  3. Stir in the orange zest and 3 tbsp orange juice, adding more if liked. Season to taste.
  4. Line a serving bowl with the lettuce leaves. Spoon in the salad, sprinkle with the chopped herbs and serve, or cover and chill until required.

Some more ideas

Boost the fibre content by grating in a carrot, or adding 1 celery stick, finely chopped. * Replace the rice with Puy lentils, a good source of B vitamins. Cook the lentils according to the instructions on the packet. * Fresh mint or fennel can replace the tarragon or parsley. * For variety, try a smoked turkey and red rice salad. Cook 200 g (7 oz) Camargue red rice in boiling water for 30 minutes or until tender (or according to the packet instructions). Drain and leave to cool. Meanwhile, soak 115 g (4 oz) dried cherries in boiling water for 20 minutes; drain well and pat dry. Put the rice and cherries in a large bowl. Add 340 g (12 oz) skinned and boned smoked turkey breast, cut into bite-sized pieces, and 2 Asian pears or ordinary pears, peeled and diced. Sprinkle with the finely grated zest of 1 large orange and toss gently to mix. Finish with 4 tbsp finely chopped fresh tarragon.

Plus points

Rice is an ideal ingredient to include in a healthy diet because it is a complex carbohydrate and it is low in fat. * Squeeze the orange juice just before you add it to the salad, to preserve the vitamin C. The vitamin C will aid the absorption of iron from the chicken. * This salad is rich in vitamins – B vitamins in the rice and vitamin C in the melon and pineapple. The fruits also provide fibre.

Each serving provides

B6, C, niacin, copper, B1, folate, iron, potassium, selenium, zinc

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