If you are open to it, food inspiration flies at you from all four corners of the globe. It enables you to explore far-flung locations in one of the most beautiful ways possible… by discovering what nourishes and brings happiness to the people who live there. To understand what warms their hearts and puts smiles on their faces. The multiculturalism that exists here in Australia is something I respect whole-heartedly and I seem to naturally find myself cooking a wide variety of cuisines because of it. My ancestors are European, yet my nearest neighbours are Pacific Islanders, Asian and New Zealanders, so it’s no wonder my home-cooking may seem a little all over the place!
Today, on ‘Australia Day’, I give thanks to the traditional custodians of this ‘Wide Brown Land’ who have loved and cared for Australia over many thousands of years… as well as holding up a glass to celebrate the wonderful country that we have become, an island nation that seems in some strange way to encompass the world.
The following recipe comes from a fabulous restaurant up in Southern Queensland (on the Sunshine Coast hinterland) called ‘The Spirit House’. A taste of the tropics is always a fine thing when you feel like celebrating and the sunshine is strong and warm!
Happy Australia Day! M.xx
Coconut Poached Chicken with Mango and Avocado Salad | Gather and Graze
- 400ml Can of Coconut Milk
- 500g Free-Range Chicken Breasts
- 2 Tablespoons Fish Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Palm Sugar (or firmly packed brown sugar)
- 1 Tablespoon Lime Juice
- 1 Small Green Chilli
- 1 Small Red Chilli
- 3 Spring Onions/Shallots
- 1 Mango (diced)
- 1 Avocado (diced)
- Handful Fresh Basil Leaves
- Lettuce leaves to serve
- Handful Toasted Shredded Coconut
In a medium saucepan, bring the coconut milk to a gentle simmer. Add the chicken breasts and allow to simmer for approximately 10 minutes, until cooked through (this will vary depending on the size of the chicken breasts you’re using). Allow both the chicken and coconut milk to cool. Shred the chicken and be sure to reserve a ½ cup of the coconut milk cooking liquid.
Place the fish sauce and palm sugar into a mixing bowl and stir until the sugar has completely dissolved. Add the lime juice, green and red chillies and shallots. Add the ½ cup of reserved coconut milk and stir to combine. Gently fold in the shredded chicken, mango, avocado and basil leaves.
Arrange lettuce leaves on the bottom of a plate and top with the chicken salad and a scattering of the toasted coconut.
* Recipe from ‘The Spirit House’ Cookbook