- 2 garlic cloves
- ½-1 jalapeño chilli
- 1 tbsp tamari
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 boneless chicken legs
- 150g brown basmati rice
- 300ml boiling water
- 250g cherries
- ½ red onion
- 1 lime
- A handful of coriander, leaves only
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 50g sweet salad mix
- 1 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
TIP: Getting the stones (or pits) out of cherries can be tricky but there are a couple of ways to stone them without mushing your cherries. If you have a chopstick, then hold a cherry in your hand, stalk side facing you, over a bowl and push the narrow end of your chopstick through the stalk end and the stone should pop out into the bowl. Or you can unfold a paper clip so it looks like an S and push the larger loop into the cherry, then use it to scoop out the stone that way.
1. Peel and grate or crush the garlic and pop it in a large dish. Halve the chilli, scoop out the seeds and white pith, and finely chop the chilli (jalapeño chillies are hot, so for a milder heat just use half the jalapeño). Pour in 1 tbsp of the tamari and the sesame oil and stir to mix everything together.
2. Add the boneless chicken legs to the dish and turn them a few times to coat. Set aside to marinate for 10 mins.
3. While the chicken marinates, rinse the rice under cold water then tip it into a small pan. Add 300ml boiling water and a pinch of salt. Pop on a lid, bring to the boil, then turn the heat right down and very gently cook the rice for 25 mins till the rice is tender and has absorbed all the water. Take off the heat and leave the rice in the pan, lid on, so it can steam for 5 mins and finish cooking. The rice should keep warm in the pan for up to 15 mins.
4. While the rice cooks, make the cherry salsa. Halve the cherries and scoop out the stones (or see our tip on how to stone cherries), then roughly chop the cherries and pop them in a bowl.
5. Peel and halve the red onion. Finely chop 1 half, then add it to the cherries. Finely grate in the lime zest and squeeze in the juice. Roughly chop the coriander and add to the salsa. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and stir to mix. Set aside.
6. Warm a large frying pan for 2 mins over a medium-high heat. Lift the chicken legs out of the marinade, shake off any excess, then add them to the frying pan, skin side down. Fry for 5-6 mins till the chicken is dark golden brown underneath. Turn them over and fry for another 5-6 mins. Lift out of the pan, pop on 2 warm plates and leave to rest for 2 mins.
7. Fluff the rice up with a fork and spoon onto the plates along with the chicken legs. Add a few spoonfuls of the cherry salsa, the salad leaves and drizzle with 1 tbsp aged balsamic. Spoon the warm pan juices over the chicken and serve.