A simple salad like this relies on the best and very freshest ingredients. Buy the most expensive, high-quality chicken that you can afford – you be glad you did once you’ve tasted the finished product. If you can’t get hold of lemon grass, then use the equivalent amount of finely grated lemon zest in the dressing and use lemon peel in the poaching liquor.
Cut the base 2 cm up from the bottom of each lemon grass stalk, then cut the end off, leaving you with two 5 cm pieces. Peel the outer tough
Remove the legs and thighs from the chicken and add to the stock. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Add the carcass and bring back to the boil, then again turn down to a rapid simmer and cook for 18 minutes (for a
While the chicken is cooking,
Slice the tender inner parts of the lemon grass as thinly as you can and put in a jar with the lemon juice, olive oil and a little seasoning. Put the lid on and give it a good shake.
Once the chicken has cooled in the stock, remove it and drain the stock through a fine sieve (see note right). Using your fingers or a knife, remove the meat from the legs and carcass of the chicken, then break or slice into chunks.
Add the ground hazelnuts to the dressing and shake well again. Mix the peas with the watercress and the remaining hazelnuts and divide among 4 plates, then sit the chicken pieces on top. Shake the dressing one last time and pour it over the chicken, making sure all plates get an even serving of the lemon grass.
© 2005 Peter Gordon. All rights reserved.