Friday, 28 February 2014

Cajun Chicken with Mango Salsa and Baby Leaves

This is one of my favourite stand-bys...

And this post is a little bit like putting a jigsaw together!

I posted my recipe for Cajun Spice / Seasoning Mix separately (although you can just use a pre-made Cajun Seasoning if you wish, such as Schwartz, widely available), as well as posting the Mango Salsa recipe separately too, because they're both so versatile and shouldn't be limited to one dish, or stuck together. Not because I'm lazy, honest! (It would have been less complicated to just do it all as one!).

Cajun-spiced Chicken with Mango Salsa and Baby Leaves

So here it is, all together, and its 210 calories per serving for spiced chicken, salsa and leaves. It's delicious served with rice/cauliflower rice, or oven-baked potato/sweet potato wedges, or even rolled up in a wrap with some half-fat sour cream or a dollop of greek yoghurt (or even mayo!). I have now perfected a cauliflower rice side (with coconut, lime and coriander) that I think will go really well with this, (and I can confirm that it does!) for which there is a link here. Now, to the chicken...

Cajun-spiced Chicken with Mango Salsa, Leaves and Rice

Serves four (easily halved, or just made for one), 210 calories per portion for chicken, salsa and leaves (plus calories for coconut and lime rice/cauliflower rice, or oven-baked potato/sweet potato wedges - cauliflower rice recipe to come)

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 125g each (500g) [550]
  • 2 tsp oil (e.g. sunflower - paleo: lard, coconut, avocado, ghee, macadamia oil ) [90]
  • 4 tsp Cajun seasoning (or to taste, or use a pre-made one, e.g. Schwartz) [20]
  • 3/4 (level) tsp fine sea salt, or to taste - only if using my Cajun seasoning recipe (pre-bought mixes already contain salt)
  • Squeeze of lemon or lime juice (optional) [3]
  • 1 quantity of Mango, Red Pepper and Coriander (Cilantro) Salsa (click for recipe) [148]
  • 160g your favourite salad leaves [28]

1. Make the salsa and set aside for the flavours to develop a little while you cook the chicken.

2. Pre-heat your grill (broiler), griddle or barbeque.

3. For the chicken, wash, trim of any visible fat, pat dry and place in a wide dish - if you prefer (recommended), you can butterfly the chicken breasts (recommended - see here for a quick demonstration how to do it quickly and easily), or put under some cling film and bash with a rolling pin (not too hard!) until they're an even thickness, to make sure they cook evenly (and also much more quickly). Add the oil and ensure the chicken is evenly coated (easiest to just rub it over the chicken with your hands, wear food gloves if preferred, or use a silicone 'brush' to coat them).

4. Place the chicken breasts in an even layer all next to each other and if you're using my Cajun seasoning, sprinkle with half the salt, and half the Cajun seasoning (if not, just half the pre-bought Cajun, or to taste). Turn over and repeat.

5. If you have butterflied (or bashed!) the chicken, cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side under the pre-heated grill (broiler), or on the griddle (barbeque) or until cooked all the way through (check it's not pink in the thickest part), squeezing on a little lemon or lime juice just before it's finished cooking. (One of my griddle pans has raised sides, and I like to do this, then quickly put a large lid on top, so the chicken finishes cooking in the steam from the citrus juice). If your chicken breasts are whole (not butterflied), or larger than those specified in the recipe, they could take 5 to 7 minutes on each side, or more, depending on the heat.

6. Serve with the mango salsa, leaves, and your choice of rice, cauliflower rice, potato or sweet potato wedges, or even quickly slice the chicken into strips and serve in a wrap with the salsa, a few leaves, and some sour cream (or even mayo!). Enjoy!

This is also delicious with salmon fillets instead of chicken - although with salmon I only put the Cajun seasoning on one side of the salmon.

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