One of the greatest joys of summertime is eating a mango whilst bent over the kitchen sink, juice dripping down your hands as you savour every last bit from the fibrous stone. As soon as they start appearing in the shops from late November, I am compelled to buy them. They are incredibly fragrant and such a fleeting fruit of the season. I usually eat them as they are, or sometimes cut up with a drizzle of fresh cream for dessert. Alternatively, they make a wonderfully refreshing salad, as I’ve done here. Inspired by a meal I once ate on a Thai beach on a scorching hot afternoon, this roast chicken dinner is really easy to prepare and incredibly delicious.
The key to this recipe is getting the chicken and marinade all sorted the night before – the food processor will do all the work for you. That means when it comes to dinner time, you barely need to think or lift a finger to get a wonderfully satisfying meal together. I’ve also had much success cooking this chicken on the BBQ, so if that’s your thing, then definitely take the cooking outdoors.
While the salad I ate in Thailand used green mango, the sweetness of this ripe mango paired with the lime and ginger is a really lovely alternative. Just make sure your mangoes aren’t too ripe, otherwise cutting them nicely will be a real bother.
On cutting a mango, there are countless ways to do this, but the way I find the easiest is to cut the cheeks off either side of the stone then cut each cheek into three, lengthwise. Take your knife and slowly cut the flesh away from the skin of the mango. Then cut any remaining mango away from the stone and repeat.
Butterflying the chicken means it is much easier to marinate, cooks quicker and is easier to get a crispy skin. To do this, turn the chicken breast-side down and using kitchen scissors or a large knife, cut down either side of the spine to remove the backbone. Turn the chicken over and flatten with the palm of your hand. A butcher will easily do this for you if you can’t manage it at home. We eat this at home with steamed Jasmine rice, but for a lighter meal, simply serve it as it is.
Ingredients ready for Julia’s recipe fragrant roast chicken accompanied by a refreshing mango salad. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.
Make sure mangos aren’t overripe to avoid mushy mango when cut! Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.
Julia advises slicing the mango cheeks into three long pieces. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.
Garlic and lime for a zesty chicken marinade. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.
Tip: butterfly the chicken (or get your butcher to do it for you!) for extra crispy skin. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.
Be sure to marinate the chicken for at least two hours, but preferably overnight. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.
This salad was inspired by one that Julia ate on a Thai beach years ago. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.
Roast chicken with a refreshing salad! Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.