Chicken with Lime Dressing, Avocado Mash and Red Bell Pepper & Almonds
Today's dish goes great with those homemade flour tortillas we made yesterday, and is a multicomponent meal that's not terribly time-consuming, but definitely does take some time and effort to prepare. This is a dish Jen taught me how to make--it's from the South Beach Diet cookbook (neither of us are on the South Beach Diet, but for some reason it's a legit good cookbook), but you can see the recipe online here--that I greatly enjoyed when we first made it together, and still am a big fan of today. I think it's the avocado mash that really makes the dish, but perhaps you'll be more partial to the charred RBP & almonds, or the chicken itself. I've made a couple of modifications to the recipe, but we'll get to those in a little bit. Onto the recipe.
The first thing you'll need to do is juice a few limes until you have 2/3 cup lime juice. We're making a double recipe, so just halve these measurements if you're cooking two portions and not four. I used this awesome Cuisinart citrus juicer from Big Lots (refurbished, $15 or so) to juice the limes. It works like a dream, the price was right, and it makes juicing lemons, limes, and oranges far easier than the elbow grease normally required to get just a few drops of juice free of its pulpy prison.
Next, remove your lime juice to a small bowl.
Then you'll need a small bunch of cilantro, washed off and ready to be chopped.
You'll need 1/2 cup. The cool thing about chopping cilantro is that you don't need any special knife to do so. You can use a basic knife or a chef's knife, most sharp kitchen knives will work for this purpose (except one with a serrated edge). All you need to do is bunch up the cilantro, and make a sweeping motion through it, with the knife's blade touching the cutting board throughout. Repeat until you've got enough chopped cilantro.
Add the cilantro to your lime juice--
Along with 2 tbsp EVOO, 2 tsp sugar, and 1 tsp salt--
--and whisk it up.
We're going to make this whole pack of eight chicken tenders, but feel free to use half of the package if you like.
Place your chicken is a deeply kitschy but surprisingly useful bright red mixing bowl.
Pour 6 tbsp of the lime dressing over the chicken.
Mix it all up, cover your bowl, and fridge it up for a good 45 minutes to an hour. The recipe says to only marinate it for ten minutes, but we're doing this longer marinade so we can skip the flouring step later. The recipe has you later flour the chicken before cooking to seal in the flavor, but because the flour adds a weird and unnecessary texture to the exterior of the chicken, we're going to marinate the chicken a little longer so it can be plenty flavorful on its own.
After about 45 minutes (just enough time to watch this week's House), take out a small bowl, squeeze 2 tbsp worth of fresh lemon juice, pour it into your bowl--
--and spoon in 4 tbsp of the lime dressing.
Add one avocado.
And a third.
Mash everything up. Sometimes I like to listen to music when I cook. If you do, too, a mash-up would be an appropriate genre of tune to choose for this step. You can use a potato masher, a fork, your hands--whatever you like. I hear avocado baths are en vogue at local high-end spas, so this could be a good way to get your exfoliation on.
Add 4 tsp salsa or picante sauce--
--and mix the whole thing once more. Then refrigerate for the remainder of the cooking process so the ingredients have some time to intermingle.
One trusty cast-iron skillet, on a medium-high flame.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, then add 2 tbsp EVOO to your skillet. Don't be alarmed by the warped mirror reflection in the oil. Please try not to confuse it for an Alice in Wonderland-style portal into another dimension.
Add your chicken and cook for 5 minutes....
....and five more minutes on the other side.
Then transfer your skillet to the preheated oven to finish cooking, for 10-15 minutes or until chicken is done. Halfway through cooking, baste chicken with juices.
Okay, while the chicken's finishing up, let's make that red bell pepper & almond mixture. Chop about 1/3-1/2 cup almonds (depending on how much you like almonds) in half, and set those aside. Then wash three RBPs.
Slice the first RBP like you slice an apple.
Repeat with the other two.
Chop your RBP slices, and preheat a small cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.
Add 2 tsp EVOO, then your RBP, to the skillet.
Cook for 5 mins or so, until the pepper turns bright orange and has softened.
Mince 2 cloves of garlic and add to the pepper. Cook for 30 seconds or until browned.
Add your almonds--
And stir everything together.
Plate your RBP & almonds, avocado mash, and chicken. Enjoy!
Thanks for stopping by Beach City Cooking, and I'll see you all later on tonight for another post. Have a great night, and stay cool!