Marinated Chicken Salad with Paw Paw Salsa and Deep-fried Filo Pastry

Patrick Williams layers spicy marinated chicken between rounds of deep-fried filo pastry and a paw paw salsa, and serve these on a bed of leaves for a riot of flavours and textures
Marinated Chicken Salad with Paw Paw Salsa and Deep-fried Filo Pastry
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes plus marinating
  • Effort: medium



  • 4 skinless chicken breast fillets
  • 115 ml coconut oil
  • olive oil, to cover
  • chicken stock or water, to poach
  • vegetable oil, for frying and deep-frying
  • 2 large sheets filo pastry
  • sprinkling of curry powder

For the marinade:

  • dashes of olive oil
  • 1 red onion, roughly sliced
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh coriander, chopped
  • 4 chillies, halved and deseeded
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • grated zest of 1 limes
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces

For the paw paw salsa:

  • 2 paw paws, peeled, deseeded and cut into small dice
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • black pepper
  • grated zest and juice of 1 limes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander


1. To make the marinade, heat the olive oil in a pan and add all the other ingredients. Cook gently until the onion is softened.

2. Put the chicken breasts into a large bowl, add the marinade and the coconut oil, and top up with olive oil to cover the chicken. Leave for 4-6 hours to marinate.

3. Remove the chicken from the marinade, drain off any excess oil and roll the chicken in cling film and then in kitchen foil. Poach the wrapped chicken in stock for 6-8 minutes, then leave to cool.

4. Heat a little more olive oil in the frying pan. Unwrap the chicken, season with salt and pepper, and gently fry the fillets until lightly browned on both sides.

5. Make the salsa by mixing all the ingredients together.

6. Preheat vegetable oil for deep-frying until moderately hot. Arrange the sheets of filo pastry on top of one another and cut out 12 double-layered rounds of filo pastry with a medium-sized pastry cutter. Deep-fry in the oil for 30-45 seconds, then remove the pastry from the oil and lay on kitchen paper to drain. Lightly season with salt and pepper and a sprinkling of curry powder.

7. To serve, cut each chicken breast across into slices, lay a half of each breast on one round of filo pastry, followed by some salsa, then place another round of filo on top and repeat the layers, finishing with a final round of filo. Repeat with the other chicken breasts and filo rounds.

8. To serve, put a handful of the salad leaves on each serving plate, place a filo chicken layer on top and scatter the rest of the plate with salsa.

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