Specially created for Queen Elizabeth's coronation, this curry-flavoured salad with a fruity pilaf makes a lovely summer dish. Often made with cream and mayonnaise, this version cuts the fat content down significantly.
1 chicken, about 1.5 kg
1 onion, sliced
1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
6 black peppercorns, lightly crushed
1 bay leaf
1 large banana
2 zucchinis, sliced lengthways with a vegetable peeler into thin strips
sprigs fresh mint to garnish
Mango and raisin pilaf
370 g basmati rice, well rinsed
50 g raisins
50 g dried mango, chopped
80 g pecan nuts
150 g natural low-fat yogurt
4 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons korma-flavoured curry paste
grated rind of 1 large lemon
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, or to taste
2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
pepper to taste
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Place the chicken in a large pan and cover with water. Add the onion, carrot and celery and bring almost to the boil, skimming any fat off the surface. When bubbles begin to break through the surface, reduce the heat and simmer. Add the peppercorns and bay leaf and simmer for 45 minutes or until the juices run clear from the chicken when you pierce the thigh.
Remove the chicken from the liquid and set aside to cool. Pour the cooking liquid through a fine sieve into a measuring jug. Discard the vegetables.
To make the pilaf, place the rice in a saucepan and add 600 ml of the strained cooking liquid. Stir in the raisins and mango. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 8–10 minutes, or according to the packet instructions, until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender.
Remove the rice from the heat and set aside, covered, for 5 minutes. Transfer the rice to a bowl to cool completely.
To make the curry dressing, place the yogurt, mayonnaise, curry paste and lemon rind and juice in a bowl and mix until well blended. Stir in the chives, mint, parsley and pepper.
When the chicken is cool, cut into bite-sized pieces and fold into the curry dressing. Slice the banana and add to the chicken mixture. Stir the pecans into the rice pilaf and spoon onto 6 plates. Arrange the zucchini ribbons on the pilaf and top with the chicken mixture. Garnish with fresh mint sprigs and serve.
Using the chicken stock to cook the rice ensures that none of the water-soluble vitamins that seeped into the water while the chicken was being poached are lost.