The name (and featured photo) says it all. In this dish is where you’ll find a clash of flavours, both savoury and sweet. And let me tell you, no one really wins this time. Instead, it’s a harmonious marriage of the two sides, forming a union that will seriously blow your mind.
So earlier today I was watching Junior MasterChef. I love the kids on that show. They’re talented, witty, and of course adorable! Now if I could cook like them… 🙂 The cooking challenge was to play around with “the art of deception”. Max Brenner was the guest for the day and he showed them how to make sweet foods look like savoury foods. A tad baffling, but point being I was inspired by the whole sweet-meets-savoury, even though not exactly like what was shown on-screen.
After the episode, it was time to get some lunch. I wanted salad with chicken breast. But that was too boring. So I opened the fridge and let my creative cooking juices flow.
If you love salads, give this a go! But be warned: this is not for the faint of heart. It is for those who are bold, those who are daring and for those with just a little quirkiness in them (those like me, and the potential you).
What I did was to pan-fry or stir-fry the chicken breast cubes, throw them over some greens and top it off with a kiwi-strawberry dressing I’d made. This is an invention. I wasn’t quite sure how it’d taste, or where I was going with this, but I just went ahead anyway.
I have to say I’m quite proud of the outcome 🙂 The chicken breast was cooked tender and to perfection, with the black pepper giving it just the right amount of kick. The sweetness of the strawberries, acidity from the lemon, and sourness of the kiwi all made for a fruity topping.
And as to why these combine together just splendid on a bed of romaine lettuce and cherry tomatoes is because vegetables are the “neutrals” — adding the much-needed missing balance.
Kiwi-Strawberry Chicken Breast Salad
Yield: 1 individual serving (that can also be served as a side dish)
For the Chicken
- 1 hand-sized piece of boneless chicken breast
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- Black pepper to taste
For the Kiwi-Strawberry Dressing
- 2 kiwis
- 6 large strawberries (I used California Giant Strawberries that I found at Fairprice)
- 3 tbsp white sugar
- 1/2 lemon
For the Vegetable Salad
- Romaine lettuce
- Honey cherry tomatoes
- Dried cranberries
- (Whatever else you may have on hand for a salad; get creative!)
1. Wash the chicken breast and place it on a chopping board. Using a sharp knife, remove all the fatty parts. Cut it into cubes.
2. Place the cubes onto a small plate or tray. Pour over the light soy sauce and sprinkle the black pepper. Mix it around to cover the chicken with this marinate. Then, wrap the plate or tray with clear plastic wrap (Gladwrap) and leave it into the chiller compartment of your fridge while you work on the topping.
3. Cut up the large strawberries and place them in a medium sized mixing bowl. Halve the kiwis and scoop out the flesh into the mixing bowl, leaving out the centre white portions (those are harder and you don’t want to use them). Add in the sugar.
4. Squeeze the lemon over the mixing bowl, making sure that the seeds do not go in. Mash up the strawberries and kiwis with the sugar and lemon juice.
5. Transfer the mixture into a heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water, raising the bowl using a low rack to ensure that the bowl does not touch the boiling water or the bottom of the pot. Cook it for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. You should get a jam-like texture, but slightly more fluid.
6. While waiting for the kiwi-strawberry dressing to be done, remove the chicken breast cubes from the chiller. Pan fry them on a skillet, turning them over occasionally to make sure you get right through the chicken meat. Fry them until the top is a nice golden brown, then transfer them to a separate bowl.
7. Once the kiwi-strawberry dressing is done, remove the bowl from the pot and leave the mixture aside to cool.
8. Prepare the vegetable salad by washing the Romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes and any other ingredients you might want to use. Place the chicken breast cubes over your salad, sprinkle with dried cranberries (even raisins, if you like) and dress with the kiwi-strawberry dressing!