Spicy Lemon Crumb Chicken & Chickpea Salad


I love spicy food, I love sweet food, I love sour food, I love crunchy food and I love soft food.  Let's just go ahead and end this sentence with, I love most types of food.  One thing I dislike though, is bland, empty salads, or ones where it's just a few leaves with a drizzle of fattening sauces that make the point in having salad...well pointless.

So whenever I opt for salad, I want it to be delicious, healthy (but not bland or boring) and I want it to be something that looks nice.  I created this on Friday, and I'll publish it after the weekend.  The reason for it's creation is Kris bought a very nice looking ready meal of crispy deep fried lemon chicken & I fancied some of that...

Scept I'm not like him, he's the type of bloke who can sit and eat a whole pizza & remain annoyingly tall & slender.  I'm a short arse who puts on weight by simply looking at a cake, so I created this to put my cravings at ease.

Don't be put off by the sound of chickpeas, they are super.  I got my brother, nan & fiancée eating them roasted.  They're like little potatoes & have so many health benefits you'd be a boob to dismiss them as simply hippy food like my dad does...  Once they're roasted they go the texture of soft peanuts, crumbly and crunchy.

For the chicken you will need:
220g Sliced raw chicken breast
1 egg white
1 tablespoon Cajun spice
Pinch of thyme
1 tablespoon soy sauce
4 teaspoons polenta
1 lemon

For the salad you will need:
A bag of salad.  What?  It was Friday, I was tired.

For the Chickpeas you will need:
Can of drained chickpeas (you can make them from dried if you can be bothered to wait overnight for them to soak)
Tablespoon or so of Olive oil

Preheat the oven to gas mark 6 (200°C).

In a bowl, whisk the soy sauce, egg white and Cajun spice together.  Grate the rind from a lemon into the bowl and then squeeze the juice into the bowl as well.  Whisk for a few minutes until frothy.  Score the chicken a few times before placing into the bowl, cover with cling film and then pop in the fridge to marinate for 30 minutes.

The longer you leave it, the stronger the flavour.

Whilst that's doing it's thing, grease a large baking tray with olive oil, and pour the chickpeas onto it.  Roll them around, coating them with a little more oil.  Pop them on the top shelf of the oven.  They need to go int for about 40 minutes, after half and hour, check them every 10 minutes to roll them around on the tray.  You may hear them 'pop' occasionally.

Next, retrieve the chicken from the fridge and mix in the polenta, making sure it covers the chicken properly.  Add the thyme.

Heat up a large frying or griddle pan with a little oil.  You won't need much.  When it's really hot, gently place each piece of chicken onto the pan, turning occasionally to make sure the coating doesn't burn.  Some of the coating might come off the chicken, no sweat, just stick it back on.  Reduce to a medium heat.

Once the chicken is cooked through increase the heat again to harden the crumb of the chicken.  Serve on a bed of salad.
Use half-fat creme fraiche to top off the chicken and sprinkle the chickpeas over the top of that for some crunch.  (a much healthier and tastier version of croutons and actually a really nice snack on their own)

Yum!  If you can't finish it, place in the fridge and serve in a wrap, equally tasty cold.  If you have any alterations you've tried with this, give me a shout, I'd love to hear them!
Remove the chickpeas from the oven, they should be harder and slightly browned.  Whilst rolling them around in the tray add desired amount of salt to cover evenly.  Place in another bowl.


  1. OMG that sounds delicious. I'm going to make this over the weekend and let you know how it went down. i agree about chick peas they are fab, your dad is soooo missing out. Thanks for your fab blog.

  2. Thanks for share with us such a very good recipe so yummy & tasty



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