Thursday, August 19, 2010

Chicken Avocado Salad with Citrus Marinade

This is an excellent salad for a lunch or even light supper! The marinade is the secret to the wonderful fresh taste!  Seafood would also be good instead of the chicken. Do make this far enough in advance to give the marinade time to penetrate the chicken. 

The marinade can be used for other salads or as a marinade for chicken or pork that is going to the grill!

Chicken Avocado Salad

Two boneless chicken thighs filet style ( You may use chicken breasts if you prefer.)
I avocado (mine is Florida- Haas is fine)
1 medium size tomato cut in chunks
1/4 red onion finely diced
1/4 bell pepper finely diced
1/2 stalk celery finely diced
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (or nuts of your choice- can be totally omitted- I just have pecans all year long in the freezer from our trees.)

Marinade and dressing:

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 Tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
1 Tablespoon finely chopped basil (fresh) or 1 teaspoon dried
1/2 packet of sugar free sweetener (more if desired)

Place all ingredients for the marinade in a bowl and whisk briskly till well combined. Place chicken in a zip bag and pour 1/2 the marinade over it, turning it over a couple of times to make sure it's well-coated. Refrigerate for one hour, shake the bag and refrigerate for another hour. Remove chicken from the bag and discard marinade. Let sit for about ten minutes.

Place chicken on a grill pan, saute pan with a little olive oil or an indoor grill. Cook till no longer pink, but not dry. Cut the chicken into bite-sized chunks and place in a bowl with all other diced and chopped ingredients. Drizzle the reserved marinade over the salad and gently toss so the avocado doesn't get mashed up. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve on a bed of romaine lettuce or other salad greens. 
This is basically a very chunky avocado salsa, but it is good. Works really well with shrimp also. Something cool for the dog days of summer. This makes salad for two, but if you need more, just increase the ingredients. The green part of scallions finely diced is good too- just didn't have any today.

Note: if you choose to use shrimp instead of the chicken, only marinate for one hour.

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