Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Chicken Parcels with Watermelon Salad

When I saw the picture of these spicy chicken and corn parcels in Vol 31 of Donna Hay magazine, I had to make them! They looked so cute and elegant, I thought it would make a great meal. But to my dismay, when I started assembling them, I started to think that maybe they might look great, but the taste could be a little lacking.

Too late to turn back though, I plunged ahead and finished the parcels...all the while worrying that dinner was going to be a big flop. I wanted to serve these with a salad and in an effort to make something a little different, I made the watermelon-feta salad with fresh herbs, from this month's edition of Cooking Light.

When the meal all came together, it turned out quite well....better than I had expected. The salad was actually very refreshing and very tasty. A definite keeper. The chicken parcels were tastier than I expected, but not a flavor sensation. After it was cooked, the chicken came out of the parcels almost like little sausages. However, the addition of tomato and corn was not enough to make this dish really sensational. Putting them together was very fiddly and I don't think I would bother again for this particular recipe. Its still a neat presentation idea though and would perhaps be good with a different type of filling.

Not a disaster, but not one of my better efforts...however in fairness, I think the recipe was a little bland, even with the addition of a red chilli.

Spicy Chicken and Corn Parcels
(Serves 4)

1 cob corn
1 tbs olive oil
1 red onion chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small red chilli, chopped
1 vine-ripened tomato, chopped
2 tbs cilantro, chopped
8oz chicken, minced
sea salt and cracked black pepper

1. Carefully remove the corn husks and discard the silk. Place the husks in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let stand for 1 minute to soften. Drain and pat dry. Slice the kernels from the corn and set aside.

2. Heat a large pan over high heat. Add onion, garlic and chilli and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the tomato and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Place in a bowl and mix with cilantro, salt, pepper, chicken and corn. Reserve one husk to cut into long strips for securing the ends of the parcels. Spoon tablespoons of the mixture into the husks and roll to enclose the filling. Pre-heat the grill and cook parcels for 2-3 minutes on each side or until firm.

Watermelon-Feta Salad with Fresh Herbs
(Serves 6)

6 cups of cubed seedless watermelon
2 cups chopped watercress
3/4 cup crumbled, reduced fat feta cheese
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/4 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
3 tbs thinly sliced fresh mint
3 tbs fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt

1. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and toss gently to combine. Serve immediately.

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