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Date Night Dinner- Mango Salad with Chicken Breast

mango salad

For a light, healthy and easy to prepare summer time lunch or dinner try Chicken Breasts with Mango Salad – add a soft flour tortilla and serve with an aqua fresca or sangria for a flavor filled meal - company or family, it will be a hit. You can make the salad ahead of time and cook the chicken breasts when your guests arrive or do everything ahead and serve the chicken cold. A very inexpensive date night dinner but it doesn't taste or look it and it makes the most of seasonal fruit.

A word about ingredients -  I made this dish three times whilst fiddling with the recipe to get the maximum flavor. First time I bought a pack of regular chicken breasts (Foster Farm brand) they were inexpensive. Final version I bought Safeway Organic, pesticide free and free range raised chicken breasts at $8.35 a llb. No question it was worth it! The meat was moist, full of flavor and tender.  Since the recipe calls for around 4 oz. of meat a serving, it’s worth splurging.
I  experimented with cooking the chicken on the barbecue, on a flat grill and sautéing. For my taste sautéing produced the most moist and tender bird.

mexican Limes

I had Mexican limes, jalapeno, cilantro and green onions in the garden but I priced them out at the local supermarket to come up with a cost for the meal.

  • Chicken  $8.35
  • Mangoes  2 @ .25cents each
  • Mexican limes 6  @ 10 for $1.00
  • Green onions 1 bunch at .59cents
  • Red pepper     1 @ .75 cents (I used half of it)
  • Cilantro                   .69 cents a bunch
  • Jalapeno                 .20 cents
  • Flour tortillas – local and fresh             .35 cents each
  • Chili powder, sea salt and honey from the pantry.

Dinner for 4   $12.99  or ~ $3.29 a serving.  I added watermelon, oranges and strawberries  to a Spanish blush wine to make a sangria that came out to  $1.20 a glass.

It’s easy to double up on this recipe by simply doubling the amount of chicken and the salad recipe; as a general rule aim for twice as much mango than the other ingredients. Jalapeno is an acquired taste so go easy on that and taste before you throw in too much.

mango slad with chicken
Four servings

  • 2 boned, skinless chicken breasts at least 1 llb in weight total and be generous.

  • Sprinkle the skinned, boneless meat with a scant ½ teaspoon of a good chili powder (ancho is my favorite), sea salt and cracked black pepper. Place a skillet over high heat and film the bottom of a skillet with olive oil (about 1 TBS). When shimmering add the chicken breasts and sear about 2 minutes on each side. Turn the heat to low and continue cooking while you prepare the salad.  Or BBQ the chicken.

  • 2 ripe mangoes in small cubes*
  • ½ Cup sweet red pepper diced.
  • ¼ Cup diced green onions (white and pale green part only)
  • ½” (or more to taste if you like the heat – some are hotter than others) of seeded, chopped jalapeno pepper. Don’t rub your eyes after handling the jalapeno!
  • ½ Cup chopped cilantro leaves Remove the leaves from the stem, fiddling but well worth the effort.
  • 2-3 regular limes or 6 or more small Mexican limes. You’ll need ~ 2TBS of juice for the salad and an additional 2 TBS to deglaze the skillet.**

prepping mango* Prep the mango by cutting around the pit – slide a sharp knife under the cutting mangoedge of the pit on both sides to get two halves. Use  a sharp knife to score the mango in a cross hatch pattern, lengthwise and then across. Cut down to the skin but not through the skin. “Fold” the cut mango half sort of inside out. The cubes will be clearly seen. Slide the sharp knife between the skin and cubes to release the fruit.

Gently mix the mango with the other salad ingredients. Add the lime juice and a good pinch of sea salt (Maldon preferred) and mix. Chill until ready to use. Will hold overnight covered in plastic wrap and refrigerated.

Check the chicken for doneness and remove from the skillet.  Heat 1 tsp. of honey in a generous 2 TBS of lime juice in the microwave - mix. Turn up the heat, put the skillet back on the stove. Add the lime/honey mixture to the juices in  the skillet and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits. Bring to the boil and remove from heat.

To serve. Slice the chicken breasts and drizzle with honey/lime sauce. Mold the salad into ramekins and unmold on the serving plate or just spoon onto the  plate. Garnish with quartered lime and cilantro. Serve with a warm, soft, flour tortilla or a rice pilaf or couscous.

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