Mexican-influenced salsa for roast chicken

We all know how to roast a chicken, just like we all know how to make toast. But here’s the next giant step: creating a Mexican-influenced salsa to spice up the freshly roasted fowl!

Mexican-influenced salsa for roast chicken
Photo: FJ Potgieter
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To make this salsa to go with a roasted chicken for four or five diners, you will need:

  • A 2kg supermarket fowl
  • 500g of fresh, large tomatoes
  • Half an onion
  • ½ teaspoon of freshly ground cumin
  • 1/3 cup of coriander leaves
  • 1/3 cup of parsley
  • 1/3 cup of basil leaves
  • 1 or 2 big red chillies
  • Juice from one or two limes
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 30ml of canola or sunflower oil
  • Coarsely ground black pepper
  • Salt, as needed

As soon as your chicken starts roasting in the oven, make the salsa. There are innumerable
recipes for salsa, just as there are for any traditional food or cuisine.

This one is just a bit more trouble than most, relying on a two-step production schedule. But with the effort comes extra flavour.

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1 Skin the tomatoes by dropping them whole into freshly boiled water. After 90 seconds remove them, rinse with cold water to drop the temperature, and then with your hands slide off the skins. Quarter the tomatoes and the peeled half onion. Crush, then peel the garlic. Cut the chilli in half lengthways, then scrape out and discard the seeds. Chop the remainder.

2 Separately from the first set of ingredients, finely chop the basil, parsley and coriander leaves, plus some rocket if you so desire. Add the juice of one or two limes. Store these in a bowl for later in the proceedings.

3 Drop the prepared tomatoes, chillies, onion, garlic and ground cumin into a food processor and pulse to a coarse mix. Select a saucepan, pour in the canola or sunflower oil, then add the mixture. Let it simmer for 10 minutes, then remove and allow to cool.

4 When cool, mix in the chopped herbs plus the lime juice and a little salt and pepper. The salsa is ready, just in time to remove the fowl from the oven. Give the bird 10 minutes undercover to rest, then carve, with a spoonful or two of salsa over each portion.

Alternatively, serve the salsa separately and invite the guests to add it themselves.

David Basckin is a freelance journalist and videographer.

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