Spiralised Zucchini with Chicken Breast and Ajvar Sauce
Ajvar, the Serbian vegetable caviar, is a Balkan red pepper based sauce/spread that I discovered recently and utterly fell in love with. It is perhaps most similar to what we know in Romania as zacusca (or the food your mom and grandma would send you in every package you received whilst in university). Ajvar deserves a post on its own and it will surely receive it soon since I have several jars of it stocked in our fridge, but for now, since it´s #homemadeMonday, I´ll just share a simple dinner (or lunch) recipe with spiralised zucchini (cause regular zucchinis are too boring), chicken breast and this sauce of the Gods.
Spiralised Zucchini with Chicken Breast and Ajvar Recipe
2 big zucchinis ( alternatively 400g of spiralised zucchini)
500g chicken breast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
For the sauce
2 big red bell peppers
5 cloves of garlic
100g cream or greek yogurt (optional)
We´ll prepare the ajvar first since this is a bit more time consuming.
Note: ajvar is done with roasted red peppers but I used fresh ones for this recipe. If you want it to be authentic, roast your red peppers or buy readily roasted ones. If you choose to have them roasted, there´s no need to fry them as in step one, just add them to the blender next to the fried aubergine (ajvar can be done just with bell peppers, the version using aubergine is technically called malidzano while the version with tomato is called pindjur).
1. Dice the onion, the garlic cloves, the red bell peppers and the aubergine. Add them to a frying pan with a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper and if the bell peppers are fresh, add some smoked paprika. Fry them whilst stirring for about 10 minutes, or until they are soft.
2. Let them cool and then add them to a blender to blend them into a sauce. Add salt and pepper for taste, and if you like, the 100g of cream or greek yogurt.
3. Now for that you have the ajvar, cut the chicken breast in small cubes and season them with salt and pepper before frying them in a pan with a dash of olive oil.
4. In the meantime, spiralise your zucchinis and add them to the pan once the chicken breast turns from pink to white. Stir for about 3 minutes and finally add as much ajvar sauce as you like to the mix. Cover the pan and let whole thing fry for another 10 minutes. Serve with some fresh basil on top.
Use the rest of your ajvar sauce as a spread for toast, a sauce for dorritos or whatever else you can think of! Get creative!