This is one of our favorite quick, healthy meals. The combination of heat from the cayenne rub with the cool creamy citrus from the lime soaked avocados makes it a meditation in flavors and textures.
It is super easy, and I think I got it years ago from a Martha Stewart mag, and it is worth trying at home. I even made this for my husband’s boss one time. We always have the ingredients on hand.
If you are making it for kids, or if you don’t like heat, just cook the chicken breasts without the cayenne, or even use the packet of seasoning for Ranch Dressing as the rub.
Spicy Chicken with Avocado Salsa
2-3 chicken breasts
Rub: 1 t. salt, 1/2 t. pepper, 1/4 t. cayenne pepper (I like it with a bit more but this is safe)
Salsa: 3 avocados, cubed, juice of 2 limes, 3 T. diced red onion or shallot, pinch of salt
Heat oven to 425.
Dry chicken with paper towel, then divide rub evenly on 2 large or 3 small pieces.
Heat 2 T. olive oil in oven proof pan on high heat. When hot, sear chicken on each side for 3 min.
Then place in oven for 8 min or cooked through.(Mind the hot pan handle!)
Meanwhile, toss avocado cubes, lime, onions and salt together.
Plate chicken with a mound of avocado salsa on top.
I love the system of searing chicken breasts with a flavoring/rub/herbs, then putting it into the oven because it always gets cooked in the middle that way. Otherwise I always feel like I am burning the outside flavors in order to cook it through.
Did you know that, according to James Beard in Beard on Food, avocados used to be called alligator pears? And they used to be so expensive they were a rare delicacy. I will remember that the next time I grumble about paying $1 for each one.
And in case you haven’t heard this trick before, when you are trying to take an avocado seed out, try (carefully) hitting it with the blade of a large knife, so that the knife is lodged in the woody center, then twisting. It comes right out very easily. This is especially helpful when you are doing big batches of guacamole.
Happy Healthy Eating!