Thursday, September 4, 2014

Cilantro Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Jan Gautro
Cooking Light /

I rarely ever follow a recipe as written.  Given my experience with cooking and my personal flavor profiles/preferences, I find there is always room for personalization with a recipe. I took this recipe from Cooking Light as inspiration.  Following is my spin on it - it's a new family favorite (quick and easy too)!

1 whole chicken, skin removed cut into quarters (leg w/thigh and breast w/wing)
1/3 cup fresh lime juice (about 4 limes)
1/2 cup cilantro (about a large handful)
2 cloves fresh garlic
3 T. plain yogurt
1 T. avocado oil (or olive oil)
2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin

2 medium-large tomatoes, chopped
1 ripe avocado
3 T. finely chopped red onion
2 T. fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
a dash of avocado oil (optional)

In a blender combine the lime juice and remaining ingredients (through cumin), blend until smooth. Place the chicken pieces in a gallon sized Ziplock bag (or shallow glass/ceramic baking dish). Pour marinade over the chicken, coating all pieces.  Allow chicken to marinate overnight. 

Preheat over to 375˚F.  Line a "sided" cooking sheet (or a shallow baking dish) with parchment paper.  Place chicken onto parchment paper and bake for 45-60 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.  NOTE: Cooking time will vary depending on the size of your chicken.  My chicken was approximately 4 pounds (fairly big) so it took 60 minutes to bake.  If you have a smaller chicken it will cook faster.

Meanwhile prepare salsa.  Combine the tomato, avocado and onion in a bowl.  In a separate small bowl combine the lime juice, salt, pepper and avocado oil and whisk until blended.  Add to the salsa and gently mix well.

Served with saffron rice and a Mexican green salad with cilantro lime dressing. Alternatively you can saute or stovetop grill some Mexican zucchini for a complementary vegetable side dish instead of salad if you prefer.

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