Feeling hungry but want to stay healthy? Forget Maccas and whip up this cheeky chicken meal from Dr Joanna McMillan. “This crunchy nut and seed topping is divine with the chicken, but the real winner is the smash,” says Joanna. “Don’t worry about the fat content in this dish as it is almost all coming from those fabulously healthy nuts and seeds, along with a little extra virgin olive oil. This makes the overall recipe low in saturated fats, while you get the benefits of those good unsaturated fats.”
2 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked
1 garlic clove
Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon tarragon, finely chopped
200 g (1 head) broccoli, chopped
140 g (/1 cup) frozen peas
2 handfuls mint, leaves roughly chopped
6 basil leaves, finely shredded
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
2 x 200 g skinless chicken breast fillets
40 g goat’s cheese (or labne)
400 g small potatoes in their skins (chat or kipfler are ideal)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (see note)
40 g (1/4 cup) raw macadamia nuts
30 g raw almonds
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 teaspoon chia seeds
Pinch of salt flakes
1. Preheat the oven to fan-forced 180°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
2. Cut the potatoes in half, toss them in a bowl with the extra virgin olive oil and spread out on the prepared baking tray. Roast for 30-40 minutes until a lovely golden colour.
3. Using a food processor or Vitamix, use the pulse setting to gently grind the nuts, seeds, garlic, lemon zest, spices, tarragon and parmesan until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Don’t over-blend or you’ll end up with a paste.
4. Cut the chicken breasts horizontally to give you 4 chicken fillets. Place in a casserole dish or on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Spoon the crumb mixture over the chicken, pressing softly to form a crust topping, then scatter over the rosemary. Pop the dish into the oven alongside the potatoes to roast for 15 minutes or until golden on top and cooked through.
5. Meanwhile, to make the pea smash, bring a saucepan of water to the boil over high heat. Put the broccoli and peas into a steamer, cover with the lid and place on top of the pan. Cook for 2–3 minutes, or until soft enough to mash. (Alternatively, place the peas and broccoli in a microwave-proof bowl with a little water, cover and cook on High for 3 minutes.)
6. Strain any water from the vegetables, then mash roughly with a fork. Mix through the mint and basil, crumble over the goat’s cheese and stir to just combine. Season with a pinch of salt and plenty of black pepper and serve warm with the crusted chicken and roast potatoes.
For more recipes, check out Joanna McMillan’s new book, Get Lean, Stay Lean, $35, Murdoch Books.
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