Poached Chicken, Sesame and Cucumber Salad
water 3 cups
star anise 2 whole
cinnamon stick 1 whole
soy sauce ¼ cup
white wine ¼ cup
sesame oil 1 tablespoon
fresh ginger 2.5cm, thinly sliced
red chilli ½, sliced lengthways
crushed peppercorns 1 teaspoon
chicken breast (boneless, skinless) 400–500g
telegraph cucumber ½, halved lengthways, thinly sliced
baby radishes 3–4, thinly sliced
spring onions 3, thinly sliced
cherry tomatoes 1 punnet (about 250g), halved
celery 3 stalks, thinly sliced
roasted peanuts ½ cup, chopped
toasted sesame seeds 3 tablespoons
baby spinach 1–2 handfuls
mint leaves, chopped, ½ cup
coriander, chopped, ½ cup
hoisin sauce (home-made page 136 or store-bought)3 tablespoons
soy sauce 1½ tablespoons
rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar or lemon or lime juice) 1½ tablespoons
sesame oil 1½ tablespoons
fresh ginger, grated, 1½ teaspoons
lime 1, cut into wedges, to serve (optional)
Combine all poached chicken ingredients in a pot. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and bring to a gentle simmer. Then turn off the heat and leave the chicken in the poaching liquid, still covered, for 14–18 minutes (depending on the size of the chicken breasts). Do not lift the lid during this time (so you don’t let the heat escape) — the residual heat of the liquid will cook the chicken through perfectly and keep it nice and moist.
- Remove chicken from the poaching liquid and set aside to cool slightly before slicing. If it has not cooked all the way through, simply return it to the pot and simmer in the poaching liquid for a couple more minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare all the salad ingredients and mix dressing ingredients together.
- To serve, toss salad with 2–3 tablespoons of the dressing and place on a plate. Thinly slice chicken breasts, place on top of salad and drizzle with remaining dressing. Squeeze a lime wedge over the chicken, if desired.