Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Recipe to Reality: Chicken with Mango Salsa

Finished Product!

Ingredients Ready to Go!
One of my absolute favorite ingredients is mango. Unfortunately, the mango isn't as widely used in American cooking as I'd like. My newlywed husband and I just returned from our honeymoon in Hawaii before Candee and I started this blog, and I was happier than a pig in the mud  because of the widely used mango fruit in the cuisine over there. I sampled mango bread, which was similar to a zucchini bread in its spices, but obviously with mango, mango ice cream, and don't forget the mango daiquiris! ;) It saddens me that the mango is not more prominent within the USA, but I am not surprised...

I'm not going to lie. The mango is one of the most difficult and frustrating ingredients to work with. Maybe butternut squash is more difficult for me because of its tough outer skin, but it's really a close call! I've made this recipe twice now, and the last time I made it was last summer because it requires time to break down those mangoes.

I started by marinating the chicken. I bought boneless, skinless, chicken breasts from Perdue which are pretty well cleaned on their own, but as a science teacher that delves into the human body, I know a thing or two about connective tissue...and let me tell you, it's not my thing. My rule of thumb when cleaning chicken is: If I wouldn't want to eat it, I clean it. I make sure that my knives are sharp and get to it.  

Trimming the Fat
I combined all my marinade ingredients, 4 garlic cloves chopped, juice of 4 limes, salt, 4 tablespoons of Caribbean Love Spice, 1 tablespoon of salt, and a 1/2 cup of olive oil and let my 3 chicken breasts marinate for about 2 hours. For my marinating tip, check out the video below.

After two hours, I preheated the oven to 375 degrees and baked the chicken for 45 minutes as instructed. The time was perfect. They came out moist and juicy.

Ready for the Sauna!

While I was waiting for my chicken, I started to make the mango salsa, which is where the headaches start! For those of you not familiar, the mango has a large starchy pit in the middle. Very different than the pit of an avocado. The avocado pit is a sphere where the mango pit is long and wide. To get the pulp from a mango, first you need to peel off the thick, waxy skin.

Mangoes are eaten in many forms of ripeness. Some chefs use green mangoes when the pulp is hard and the flavor is more bland for texture in a salad, while other chefs look for mangoes that are red and yellow in color when the pulp is super soft and incredibly sweet.

Mango Madness!

Because I bought the mangoes the same day I planned on preparing them, I looked for ones that were red and yellow in color, but you never know what you're gonna get! One of my mangoes was very ripe, another medium, and one was still pretty hard and tart, but it made a good combination for my salsa. In the picture above you can see the difference in color between the mango pit on the left and right. The one on the right has a deeper yellow color and also a softer texture. I'm no professional, so I just used my paring knife to try and get as much pulp off the pit as possible. 

The Fruits of My Labor
   Posted by PicasaAfter about half an hour, I had three mangoes diced. To my mangoes I added a diced and seeded jalapeno, a diced red onion, the juice of two and a half limes, a handful of chopped cilantro, a tablespoon of salt and a 1/4 cup of sugar. You need to let the salsa sit for about half an hour to let all of the flavors blend. The salt forces some of the water out of the mangoes and after you let it sit, it makes its own juice. 

Colorful Mango Salsa!

Overall, I love the combination of the sweet mangoes, spicy jalapenos, and sharp onions. They complement the chicken that has been marinating in the Caribbean spices. My husband and I love eating this meal, but I'd call this meal a once-a-year-wonder. See you next July, Mango Salsa!

Click here for the full recipe by Ike Green courtesy of Food Network.com


  1. Jasmine- Mango shouldn't be THAT difficult to work with. Have you seen this: http://www.mango.org/how-cut-mango ? <3, Al(addin)

    PS- Some of your pictures have broken links for me. Not sure if it's just my computer, but you might want to check it out.

  2. Al(addin) ~ you are too cute!

    I think I should have put a mango slicer on my bridal registry! I haven't tried that other method either, but now I will :)

    Thank you for letting me know about the pictures...I downloaded Picasa today and the images weren't being uploaded correctly.

    I'm gonna go read your latest post now!

  3. Girl! The other method will change your life!! Get ready to love mangoes!


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