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Blackened chicken

About this recipe: The spiced coating on the chicken breasts cooks to a delicious crunchy crust, keeping the inside flesh really juicy. It's served on a simple avocado, borlotti bean and tomato salad, but add some crusty bread to complete the meal.

Maggie Pannell

Ingredients
Serves: 4 

  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 4 tsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 skinless chicken breast fillets, about 150g each
  • SALAD
  • 1 avocado
  • 4 tomatoes, sliced
  • 400g can borlotti or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • TO SERVE
  • lime wedges

Method
Prep:15min  ›  Cook:20min  ›  Ready in:35min 

  1. Place the coriander and cumin seeds, peppercorns and garlic in a mortar and crush with a pestle until roughly ground. Add the oregano, paprika and oil and crush to a paste.
  2. Use a sharp knife to cut 3–4 deep slashes across each chicken breast. Spread the spice mix over the chicken, rubbing deep into the cuts.
  3. Heat a heavy-based frying pan until very hot and add the chicken breasts. Reduce the heat to moderate and fry the chicken for 15–20 minutes, turning occasionally, until it is slightly charred on the outside and thoroughly cooked inside. (It can be served warm or cooled and then chilled, to serve later.)
  4. Meanwhile, or shortly before serving, peel and slice the avocado. Combine the avocado and tomatoes in a bowl with the beans. Drizzle with the lime juice and olive oil, add the parsley and season lightly.
  5. Heap the salad onto a serving plate. Cut the chicken, on the diagonal, into neat slices and arrange on top of the salad. Garnish with lime wedges to squeeze over.

Variation

The spice mix is also very good with pork – try it rubbed over lean pork steaks or chops, and char-grill in the same way as the chicken.

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