Blackened Chicken

Skinless chicken is one of the most versatile meats you can cook with. It does well with just about anything and is heart-healthy, too. Chicken isn’t that expensive, and with a bevy of flavorful ingredients, is really a great choice people watching their weight or on restrictive diets – even on a budget. Here’s a chicken recipe that’s super delicious without breaking the bank.

Blackened Chicken with Mango and Avocado Salsa

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 tsp. blackened steak seasoning
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • dash ground black pepper
  • 1 avocado, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 2/3 cup chopped mango
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped red sweet pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Directions

Chicken

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Sprinkle each chicken breast lightly with the blackened steak seasoning on each side. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat one tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add chicken and cook until browned, turning once. Place the skillet in the oven and bake about 15 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink in the middle (170 degrees F).

Salsa

In a large bowl, whisk together the rice vinegar, two tablespoons olive oil, cumin, salt, and black pepper. Stir in chopped avocado, mango, sweet pepper, and cilantro. Serve salsa over the chicken or on the side.

Tips:

  • You can substitute dried cilantro for the fresh. 2 tablespoons dried cilantro equals 1/4 cup fresh.
  • Other fruit works well in this recipe as well. Try peaches or nectarines or papaya in place of the mangoes for a delicious variation.
  • Rice vinegar is most often used in Asian dishes, but works well for this one because it helps to bring out the sweetness of the fruit. If you don’t have rice vinegar, you can substitute apple cider vinegar with just a pinch of sugar or white vinegar diluted with water (three parts to one part).
  • Avocados get a bad rap for being high in fat, but did you know the fat content is mostly unsaturated fat, and the other health benefits make this fruit a great healthy food choice? Avocados contain 20 vitamins and minerals the body needs and actually acts as a “booster” to help the body absorb other nutrients as well.

 

Image:  Thinkstock