03 January 2011

Grilled Chicken with Cherry Tomato & Basil Salsa

Well the new year has got off to a great start.  The weather here in NZ has just been glorious so I have been making the most of it with some early morning walks.  I am very lucky to have Cornwall Park and One Tree Hill on my doorstep. That and my fit flops...seriously they do work!  A couple of brisk walks in them and I can most definitely feel muscles in my butt that I didn't know I had!
The park's donor, Sir John Logan Campbell, is buried on the summit of One Tree Hill alongside the obelisk. The park is renowned for its landscape design and its wide variety of mature trees and it is centred on a volcanic cone.  Cornwall Park is named after the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York (later King George V and Queen Mary of England). During the Royal visit to Australia and New Zealand in 1901 Sir John Logan Campbell was asked to be honorary Mayor of Auckland. It was during this visit that he took the opportunity to gift the Park to the people of New Zealand and asked that it be called Cornwall Park and what a lovely gift it was.

It is most definitely time to get back in to my exercise routine as a few kgs must be shifted post all the festive over indulging!  So, with the help of my trainer we are kick starting the new year with some serious work outs, a healthy, but of course delicious, diet and no vino for at least 4 weeks.

Day 2 and all going well and thinking about what virtuous but delicious meals I can cook up.  From, the as ever, wonderful Epicurean Supplies a beautiful bag of mixed basil leaves, red and yellow cherry tomatoes, shallots and garlic.  That says salsa to me and thinking it would be just the ticket over some grilled chicken with a green salad, as also among my organic vegetable treats this week a bag of fresh peas and some very pretty salad leaves.  Plus picked up some organic agria potatoes so thinking of dicing and roasting, with just a smidgen of olive oil, a few garlic cloves and a little rosemary out the garden.
Grilled Chicken with Cherry Tomatoes and Basil Salsa


Serves 2

1 cup cherry tomatoes, diced
1 cup loosely packed basil leaves, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 shallot, finely chopped (or 2 tbsp finely chopped onion)
1/2 tsp anchovy paste, or 1 anchovy fillet finely chopped, optional but it will add depth of flavour, and those who don't like anchovies won't even know it is there!
1 tbsp good quality olive oil
Salt and pepper taste
2 chicken thighs, I used boneless and skinless being on the low cal road, but skin on bone in would work fine too and be even tastier. Slice each in to 3 pieces.  If extra hungry or small chicken thighs just double up.


Make the salsa a little ahead of time to allow the flavours to infuse.  In a bowl mix together the tomatoes, basil, garlic, shallot,  anchovy paste.  Set aside and allow the flavours to infuse.

Season the chicken and grill on a griddle pan or BBQ until cooked through, about 10 minutes.  

For the potatoes, dice one medium potato per person.  Place on a baking tray with a little oil in a pre heated 190C (375F) oven for a few moments to let the oil heat up.  This will all help get a lovely golden crunch.  Toss the potatoes on the baking tray with 1 tsp chopped rosemary and as many cloves of garlic as you like, unpeeled and season with a little salt and pepper.  Cook for 30 - 40 minutes until the potatoes are golden and crispy on the outside.

To serve plate up the chicken and top with the cherry tomato and basil salsa.  Serve with the potatoes and salad.  Summer on a plate, light, fresh and full of flavour.  Sweet tomatoes, fragrant basil, a hit of garlic, simply grilled chicken works a treat with the crispy rosemary potatoes.


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