This light dish, full of lean protein and nourishing nutrients, is one we try to keep on the menu at Daylesford’s cafés for as long as we have kale. Crunchy thanks to the nuts, with a hint of natural sweetness from the apples and dressing, it also happens to be one of my favourites.
- Lay the chicken breasts between sheets of cling film and gently flatten using a meat tenderiser or rolling pin. Put the chicken into a dish and rub with the garlic and olive oil, then season with salt and pepper. Cover and leave in the fridge to marinate for as long as possible (ideally overnight). Remove the chicken from the fridge and bring to room temperature before cooking.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160º/gas 4.
- Soak the pecans in warm water for 10–15 minutes, then drain and pat dry with kitchen paper. Mix together the sugar, cayenne pepper and a pinch of salt in a small bowl and toss in the dried pecans. Place the nuts on a small baking tray lined with baking parchment and bake in the oven until the sugar is lightly caramelised and the pecans are golden, about 5–10 minutes, then leave to cool.
- Preheat a ridged griddle pan and cook the flattened chicken breasts for about 5 minutes each side until cooked. Squeeze over the lemon juice and leave to rest while you assemble the salad.
- Whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, mustard and honey and check for seasoning. Toss the kale with the dressing and then mix in the apple batons and candied pecans.
- Serve with the rested chicken breasts.
- 4 x chicken breasts (about 160g each) 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 40ml olive oil
- juice of ½ lemon
- salt and pepper
FOR THE SALAD
- 120g pecans, broken into bite-sized pieces 3 tbsp caster sugar
- small pinch of cayenne pepper
- 40ml white wine vinegar
- 50ml olive oil
- 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
- 2 tbsp clear honey
- 250g kale, stalks removed and leaves roughly chopped 2 apples, unpeeled, cored and cut into batons
Recipes and photos are from Nurture: Notes and Recipes from Daylesford Farm by Carole Bamford, published by Square Peg. daylesford.com, and available from all good booksellers RRP £35