One of the great things about living in tropical countries is the amazing fruit one can find available in the markets. Luckily, mangoes and avocados are often available and amazingly inexpensive. As I know this will not always be the case, I make a point to enjoy the offerings as often as possible!
This salad is inspired by one my good friend serves regularly, and makes good use of the lovely mangoes here, and included chunks of creamy avocado, as well as chicken making it a full-meal deal. I think it would be lovely with a bit of spice, too, so feel free to add some chopped chili if you like.
To make this ahead, you can mix the mango, soaked onion and herbs as well as poach the chicken. Then when you are ready to serve, mix the chicken into the salad, and add the avocado last.
Mango-Avocado Chicken Salad
Yield: 6 servings
3 large mangoes, peeled, chopped into 1-inch chunks
1 small onion, finely minced, soaked in cool water at least 10 minutes and then drained
1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
3 avocados, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
2 T capers, drained
1 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
1 kg chicken breasts
4 quarts water
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup salt
2 T sugar
6 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
In a large mixing bowl, combine the mango chunks, soaked and drained onion, parsley and cilantro and mix well. Set aside.
Poach the chicken:
Whisk 4 quarts water, soy sauce, salt, sugar, and garlic in Dutch oven until salt and sugar are dissolved. Add the chicken breasts; cover and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Transfer the pot to the stove, uncover and heat pot over medium heat, stirring liquid occasionally to even out hot spots, until water registers 175 degrees, 15 to 20 minutes. Turn off heat, cover pot, remove from burner, and let stand until meat registers 160 degrees, 17 to 22 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the hot water, and either transfer breasts to carving board, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 minutes or, if you are not yet serving the salad, put the chicken into a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use. When ready to add to the salad, slice or tear the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add the pieces to the mango mixture in the bowl; stir well.
Finish the salad:
Add the avocado, capers, salt and pepper to taste to the mango-chicken mixture. Stir gentle to combine. Serve chilled or closer to room temperature. Enjoy!