RECIPE: Chargrilled paprika chicken with lime crème fraîche

This “Mexico meets Italy” medley came to me while pondering my dinner options on the train home one evening, when I tend to dream up my more experimental plates.

Gazing out of a dark train window drizzled with rain, thoughts of a zingy and smoky Mexican-inspired chicken pasta were mouthwatering. Knowing I had half a pot of crème fraîche to make use of and a fresh lime in my bag left over from a cocktail competition, I settled on this creation.

Essentially thrown together from leftovers and store cupboard staples, this dish was far from a planned endeavour, but it (kind of) worked. I would have preferred my lime crème fraîche to be more “soft peak” creamy than saucy; a case of “over liming the fraîche” if you like. But it wouldn’t put me off using it again, perhaps dolloped over a fillet of salmon?

Paprika by the way, particularly the smoked variety, is by far my spice of the month. It is so versatile and never fails to make a dish pop. Made from Capsicum annuum, a member of the chilli family, its most common to Spain and Portugal. Spanish pimentón, as paprika is known in Spain, is often smoked, giving it an earthy flavour. You can also get hot and sweet varieties.

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Chargrilled paprika chicken spaghetti with lime crème fraîche

(Serves 2)

  • Two chicken breasts
  • Spaghetti
  • Fresh lime
  • Creme fraiche
  • Smoked paprika

1. Take your chicken breasts and coat in smoked paprika on both sides. About three teaspoons worth for two pieces of chicken.

2. Add your spaghetti to a pan of boiling water and cook until al dente – about 10 minutes.

3. Oil a griddle pan and heat to medium before adding your chicken. Cook on both sides evenly, about 8 minutes on each side.

4. While your chicken is cooking, squeeze the juice of half a lime into a pot of crème fraîche, about 5 tablespoons, and stir.

5. Drain your spaghetti, plate it up with your chicken and top with a few dollops of crème fraîche. Buon appetito!

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