JUST IN TIME FOR MOTHER’S DAY: The Perfect Chicken, Avocado, and Mango Salad by Jeanne Kelley

May 6, 2012
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Recipe by Jeanne Kelley, photo by Ryan Robert Miller.

Recipe by Jeanne Kelley, photo by Ryan Robert Miller.

I like to toss all the ingredients for this salad in a big bowl so that the creamy avocados and the slippery mangoes luxuriously coat the rest of the ingredients. If you prefer, you can slice the avocado and mango and compose the ingredients on individual plates. You can use leftover roast chicken or a rotisserie bird in this simple yet colorful salad. Crisp, seeded flatbread crackers go well with the goodies here.

4 servings

8 cups mixed greens, such as butter lettuce and or green or red leaf lettuce
12 ounces (about 3 cups) shredded cooked chicken (see recipe)
2 firm-ripe mangoes, peeled, pitted, and cut into cubes
2 small firm-ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, and cut into cubes
¼ red onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup roasted and salted cashews
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
Ancho-Lime Vinaigrette (see recipe)

In a large bowl, combine the greens, chicken, mangoes, avocados, onion, cashews, and cilantro. Add enough Ancho-Lime Vinaigrette to season to taste (about 1/3 cup) and toss gently to combine.
Lime-Ancho Vinaigrette

Ancho chilies are dried poblano chilies. They have a rich, sweet and mildly piquant flavor. Look for the powder in the spice section of your local grocery store or at Latin American Markets. Try the vinaigrette brushed over grilled or steamed corn on the cob in the summertime.

Makes about 2/3 cup 
¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 generous teaspoon ground ancho chili powder
1 generous teaspoon ground cumin
1 large garlic clove, pressed
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup olive oil

Whisk the lime juice, honey, chili powder, cumin, garlic, and salt in a small bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in the olive oil.
(Can be prepared 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Roast Chicken Breasts

Basic roast chicken is simple to prepare and handy for fixing any number of main-course salads.

Makes about 1 pound of cooked chicken

Olive oil for brushing
2 large bone-in, skin-on chicken half breasts (about 1½ pounds)
Kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Brush a shallow baking dish large enough to accommodate the chicken with olive oil. Arrange the chicken in the prepared dish and sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper. Pour 1/4 cup water into the baking dish. Cover the dish with a lid or aluminum foil and roast the chicken in the oven until no longer pink in the center or when an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken breast registers 180ºF, about 40 minutes. Let the chicken cool completely. Remove and discard the skin and bones. Shred or dice the chicken according to the recipe, returning the chicken to the juices in the bottom of the pan. (Chicken can be prepared up to 2 days ahead. Wrap the chicken in plastic and refrigerate.)


Author Jeanne Kelley

Author Jeanne Kelley

Jeanne Kelley is the author of the just released Salad for Dinner: Complete Meals for All Seasons. Kelley has written for Bon Appetit magazine for 20 years and is a frequent contributor to Cooking Light and Fine Cooking. Her articles and recipes have appeared in Prevention, Fitness, and the Los Angeles Times Magazine. Around her house in Los Angeles, she and her husband Martin have built an urban homestead–complete with beehives for hone, a chicken coop for eggs, and a plot in the community garden for vegetables. She is also the author of Blue Eggs and Yellow Tomatoes and William Sonoma’s Holiday Baking. For more information, please her website www.jeannekelleykitchen.com. Her newest book, Salad for Dinner, is also available at Vroman’s in Pasadena and on Amazon.com.

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