I have a secret to tell you… Confession Town, population Me! Here it is…
I’m a very touchy person.
I like to feel things and touch stuff, even when there’s a blazing “do not touch” sign on right in front of me.
When I walk through a clothing store, I have to run my hands over all of the clothing. ALL of it.
I pet animals I probably have no business touching.
Same goes for people – if we hang out, chances are I’ll hug you when we meet, when we leave and possibly at some point in between.
There aren’t many foods I dislike the taste of (except maybe goat) but texture is a whole other matter – it often prevents me from eating many foods I really want to like – like headcheese, meringue and shaved coconut.
The worst is when I go to the Art Gallery of Ontario and I feel the need to run my fingers over the texture of the paintings. Apparently, you aren’t supposed to do that.
I’m a very touchy person.
But I’m also a very visual one too. Especially when it comes to food. Who isn’t, right? I think that’s how Louise of Lick The Spoon roped me into making my Secret Recipe Club (SRC) assignment this month. Her very quick, simple and low-cook recipe for Cajun Chicken with Mango & Avocado Salsa looked damn good for a Summer evening and while I usually try to avoid buying much imported produce, I just couldn’t help myself. And thank god I didn’t. It’s made the weekly meal plan and I don’t see it going anywhere anytime soon. Like Louise says, when you love something, it all comes down to priorities; you make time for it. My friends, I’m making time (albeit not much because it comes together super fast) for this.
There were a couple small changes I made to Louise’s recipe – namely, I marinated the chicken for a few hours in the “sauce” before cooking and as a result, I essentially doubled the ingredients. I also had to make a couple small substitutions because of what I had on hand. I also added a couple of bird’s eye chilis to the salsa to give it some kick and fresh basil instead of mint, because again, it’s what I had. Lastly, I modified the cooking method just a touch because I’m pretty sure I’ve perfected the art of cooking chicken breasts and I didn’t want to risk dry chicken. I only have one thing to say: It was friggin good.
Cajun Chicken with Mango & Avocado Salsa
Yield 2 servings
- 2 Organic, Pastured Chicken Breasts.
- 1/3 C Virgin Olive Oil
- 4 Garlic Cloves, minced.
- 4 Tsp Dried Onion Soup Mix.
- 2 Tbsp Italian Seasoning.
- 1 Tbsp Smoked Paprika.
- 1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
- Coarse Sea Salt & Fresh Cracked Black Pepper.
- 2 Massive Handfuls of Fresh Arugula + 1 Tbsp Good Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil to Serve.
- 1 Ripe Mango.
- 1 Avocado.
- 1 Red Pepper, diced.
- 1/2 Red Onion, finely chopped.
- Juice of 1 - 2 Limes.
- Small Handful Fresh Basil Leaves, chiffonade.
- Coarse Sea Salt & Tsp Ground White Pepper.
- Make a small incision in the fattest part of the under-part of the breast but do not cut through entirely. This will help it cook evenly.Combine all the ingredients for the chicken in a shallow, flat glass bowl, except for the arugula. Roll the chicken in there, making sure all areas are well coated. Cover, place in the fridge and marinate 2 - 24 hours, turning the chicken occasionally.
- When ready to cook, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees F and place a cast iron skillet over medium heat. When the pan is good and hot, place the chicken, skin-side down in the center of the pan. Do not over-crowd it or you won't get a good sear! Get some really good color on there (about 5 minutes), flip when golden and cover the pan with tin foil. Careful! It will be hot! Place in the center of the oven for 8 minutes.Pull from the oven and place chicken on a wire rack. Cover with foil and let it rest for 5-7 minutes.
- As the chicken cooks and rests, make the salsa. Dice the mango and avocado, discarding of skin and pits. Mix with the rest of the ingredients. Toss the arugula in a bowl with olive oil and a pinch of sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Plate, followed by the chicken and arugula.
What sense guides you? Touch? Scent? Common?