The chicken, bean salad, and watercress in this recipe compliment each other well. The chicken gives some spice and smokiness, the beans their starch, citrus, and a little bite, and the watercress gives some needed crunch and pepperiness. For anyone gawking at the length: the chicken is also great on a sandwich, and the bean salad is excellent eaten alone, with a little sprinkle of cheese, with tortilla chips, or put in a taco.
For the chicken marinade
1/2 cup scallion, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, minced with seeds
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 teaspoon English-style dry mustard
1 bay leaf, center ribs discarded and the leaves crumbled
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 chicken breast
olive oil for brushing the grill pan
Assemble the marinade and blend. Rinse the chicken and rub with the marinade. Place in the fridge at least 2 hours up to overnight. Take out and cut into strips or dice. Oil the double burner grill pan, and set to medium high. Once hot, put the chicken on. Grill for a minute or so each side. Cut a piece to assess if it’s done before removing. Cool.
Make sure to scrap down the burnt parts of the marinade. They’re excellent, even if they don’t make it into the salad.
Black Bean Salad
8oz dried black beans picked and soaked overnight
1 yellow onion, quartered
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1/4 cup scallions, diced
1 sweet red pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 avocado, halved, pitted, and diced at the last minute
1 lime, juiced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1-2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons cumin seeds, dry roasted
Pinch of paprika
Watercress, washed and with woody ends removed
Red wine vinegar
Drain and rinse soaked beans. Place in a pot with water two inches above beans. Bring to boil. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for one hour, until the beans are soft. Rinse and remove onion. Put the beans in a large bowl. Add the other ingredients, minus the avocado. Assemble the dressing and whisk in a small bowl. Mix salad and dressing, reserving some for avocado. Prepare and dress avocado, and add to salad. Assemble watercress dressing in a bowl. Add the watercress and toss.
Plate watercress, then beans, then chicken. Serve at room temperature. If not making fresh, serve with some freshly cracked pepper, a little lime juice, and some cilantro.
If you’re using canned beans, skip the boiling step. If preparing the salad in advance, don’t cut the avocado or prepare the watercress until ready to serve or pack for lunch.