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Chicken and Melon Salad with Coconut Lime Dressing

by Shannon Meyerkort (follow)
Senior writer for WeekendNotes and Perth Mums Group. Founder of fundraisingmums.com.au
Chicken (692)      Barbecue (39)      Salads (39)     
This is one of my favourite summer dishes. Ever.

Warm, spicy chicken, cool melon, creamy coconut dressing. It's a winner

You can cook the chicken in your favourite way: butterfly a whole chicken and roast in the oven, roast individual pieces or as I suggest here, marinate some boneless breast fillets and cook them on the BBQ.

You can make the dressing ahead of time and serve it at room temperature.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 plus 10 minutes
Makes: 4 main servings or more as part of a BBQ

The yummy ingredients are probably in your cupboard

Chicken for BBQ-ing (allow 1 chicken breast per person if this is a main meal)
Ĺ cup ketjap manis (sweet soy sauce)
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon Chinese five spice
270ml can coconut milk
Finely grated rind of one line
Juice of one lime
3 kaffir lime leaves
Large piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
ľ teaspoon salt
Salad: half a honeydew melon, rocket or baby spinach leaves

Cut the chicken breasts in half crossways (you want two short fat pieces not two long skinny pieces).

Placing the meat in a bag saves space in the fridge and also saves washing up later

Mix ketjap manic, oil and five spice in a plastic bag and place the chicken pieces in and seal. Use your fingers to rub the mix into the chicken so that all pieces are coated. You can leave this in the fridge for a few hours.
Into a saucepan place the coconut milk, sugar, salt, lime rind, lime juice, finely shredded kaffir leaves and sliced ginger.

Cut the kaffir lime leaves as finely as possible. You can usually buy these from your grocery store

To prepare the kaffir lime leaves, use kitchen scissors to remove the spine then cut them as finely as you can (1mm wide). To prepare the ginger, peel and then slice into large disks. Usually the ginger is removed before serving, but if you want to keep it in, you will have to finely dice it.

Throw everything in a saucepan and simmer for 20 minutes

Slowly bring the dressing to the boil, and then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until it has thickened, is a deeper caramel colour and has reduced by about a third. Allow to cool at room temperature.

Cube the melon and toss onto the leaves

Scatter the leaves over a large serving platter. Peel and cube the melon and place on the platter.
BBQ the chicken until just cooked (donít overcook or it will go dry) and then put on the platter.
Drain the ginger pieces out of the dressing and stir if it has separated out. Drizzle the dressing over the chicken pieces, and serve the remainder in a dish on the side.

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