Coconut, chicken and bunya bunya nut salad

Coconut, chicken and bunya bunya nut salad.
Coconut, chicken and bunya bunya nut salad. Photo: Justin McManus
Dietary
Gluten-free

It's a little-known fact that the Attica figurehead started out with dreams of emulating David Thompson's Thai-inspired cuisine. He decided he didn't want to be pigeon-holed to one cuisine, and today his dishes are a little bit harder to pin down.

Ingredients

300g free-range chicken breast, skin off and butterflied
500ml coconut cream
35ml fish sauce (check gluten-free if required)
30g honey (preferably local ie: Melbourne backyard honey)
40ml coconut cream
25ml lime juice
3 shallots, peeled and julienned
*1 bunya bunya nut, thrice peeled and coarsely grated
20g finger lime pulp
a pinch of ground Tasmanian pepper berry
salt to taste

* Bunya bunya nut? Coming to a park near you, they are in season early April and only fruit every three years. But if they're a little too tricky to source, try six macadamia nuts instead.

Method

1. Heat 500ml coconut cream, fish sauce and honey in a medium saucepan until it begins to simmer. Add chicken breast and poach gently for 10 minutes or until cooked. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

2. Remove chicken from cooking liquor and shred into small strips, using your hands.

3.To make dressing, take 175ml of the chicken cooking liquor and add the remaining 40ml coconut cream, the lime juice and a pinch of salt. Mix well and check the seasoning.

4. Add dressing to shredded chicken in a large bowl and add the shallots and half of the grated bunya bunya or macadamia nut. Combine gently, place in the centre of serving bowls and finish with a small sprinkle of pepper berry, the remaining grated nut and the finger lime pulp.

More Ben Shewry recipes: Kangaroo and macadamia satay, and crab rice with desert lime nam jim.