Chili Citrus Avocado Chicken Salad

It’s a rare treat for me to get avocados at a decent price here in NY.  We always see them during the Super Bowl (for guacamole), but really the best time to buy them is now. But, I got a great deal at Imperfect Foods on both limes and avocados the other day. So, I decided to take advantage and create a chili citrus avocado chicken salad.

I must say it was a smashing success. The sweet limes, velvety avocado, bright and crunchy veggies, and the spicy chicken combine for a carnival of flavor and color.

The chili citrus chicken recipe is one I already had (here on the site).  Adding the veggies and the dressing transformed it into a completely different meal.

Great for hot weather.  Make extra chicken the night before for dinner and you don’t have to cook at all the next day.




 

Chili Citrus Avocado Chicken Salad Substitutions and Variations

  • Mix together whatever greens you like: spinach, leafy green lettuce, romaine, red lettuce, etc.
  • I used cucumber, carrots, and tomatoes as veggies, but feel free to substitute bell pepper, mushrooms, snap peas, cooked corn, or whatever other salad veggies strike your fancy
  • Add some orange segments to punch up the citrus flavor

More Entree Salad Recipes

belgian potato salade liegoiseBelgian Potato Salade Liegoise

A traditional Belgian warm potato salad made with green beans, and sausage.  It’s then dressed with a quick vinaigrette that takes only seconds to make. The result is savory, filling, and easy.

leftover roast lamb eggplant spinach saladLeftover Roast Lamb Eggplant and Spinach Salad

Transform your lamb breast leftovers into a second meal (or make extra).  The creamy eggplant and the spinach balance the strong flavor of the lamb, all topped with a garlicky easy aioli dressing.

 

cold leftover steak saladCold Leftover Steak Salad with Goat Cheese and Red Wine Vinaigrette

Forget the classic steak sandwich for a minute and use your leftovers to make this salad instead.  Chop some veggies, add goat cheese, and make a quick red wine vinaigrette. A full meal with no cooking! Ta da!

mixed greens egg potato chicken saladMixed Greens Egg Potato and Chicken Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

Another great entree salad that’s easy and flavorful (without a lot of work). Use spinach, mixed greens, chicken, or tuna. It’s flexible and easy. All you have to cook is the potato and the egg.




Roast Chicken with Plums

Once summer rolls around, it’s hard to think about cooking too much. Complicated dishes, with lots of steps have very little appeal. On the other hand, something like this roast chicken with plums just hits the spot. It’s sweet, tangy, with just a hint of savory warm spiciness. And super simple to make.

My first thought the day I made this was to go for chicken with peaches and ginger, Then I had an idea. I had some fresh plums. Why not use those instead? Since plums are more tart than peaches, it needed something to balance the flavor, and add some sweetness. A bit of googling, and some reverse-engineering from a recipe I couldn’t see completely, and ta da!

All you have to do is cut up the ingredients, mix everything together, and bake it. You don’t have to fuss, or make a separate sauce, or hover over the stove.

I recommend using firmer plums as the riper ones are too soft to cut easily and tend to just collapse into mush (delicious mush, but still mush).




Roast Chicken with Plums Substitutions and Variations

  • make a spice rub with cumin, garlic, red pepper flakes, lemon, salt, and olive oil and marinate the chicken overnight
  • add ginger and lemon to the sauce
  • put the plum sauce on the bottom of the pan and layer the chicken over it (so the juices drip down)

More Chicken Recipes

Vietnamese baked chicken with limeVietnamese Chicken with Lime and Ginger

Ginger for warm spiciness, plus lime for a citrusy tang, and a bit of a kick from chili garlic sauce.

 

crispy lemon chicken thighCrispy Lemon Chicken Thigh Recipe for One

Great hot or cold, and perfect for picnics. Three kinds of lemon pack a big, citrusy punch, balanced by brown sugar.

 

feta brined roast chickenFeta Brined Roast Chicken Recipe for One

You’ve heard of brining turkey in salt? This is better. Brining with feta adds more flavor, and keeps the chicken moist and juicy.

 

peruvian roast chicken with green saucePeruvian Roast Chicken in Green Sauce Recipe

The sauce! Oh the sauce! It’s tangy, garlicky, and soooo good. Great on the chicken and also as a veggie dip.

 




Apple Almond Chicken Salad

Apple almond chicken salad is an easy lunch that’s full of flavor, without a lot of bother.  You can either start with rotisserie chicken from the store, or roast your own.  The flavor comes from sweet apples, crunchy almonds, and tangy sour cream.

Switching from all mayo to half sour cream and half mayo adds more zing, and makes the salad a lot less heavy. I don’t just mean calories.  I find all mayo is just too greasy.  If you don’t have sour cream, Greek yogurt works really well too.

This recipe was inspired by an online food group I belong to. There are themes most months and this time it was apples. So I decided to switch my usual chicken salad up a bit.  Goodbye grapes and hello apples!

Use a rotisserie chicken and this recipe is done in five minutes. Or, do it yourself (think of this as two recipes in one). The roast chicken is delicious for dinner too.

If you want to roast the chicken yourself, mix up 1 tsp olive oil, a small clove of garlic (chopped), and 1 tsp rosemary in a small ramekin. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and then coat it with the olive oil mixture.  Roast at 400 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.

Then let it cool, and remove the skin. Eat the skin as a chef’s treat (this is an important step!). Shred the chicken, and prepare the rest of the salad. Roasting at a higher temperature keeps the meat juicy while the skin gets crispy and golden brown.







Apple Almond Chicken Salad Substitutions and Variations

  • Use chopped almonds or other nuts, like walnuts or pecans
  • Try switching the rosemary in the roast coating with tarragon instead
  • If you use rotisserie chicken, add some fresh rosemary or tarragon to the salad
  • Go back to the grapes
  • Toss in some craisins (sweetened cranberries)

More Chicken Salad Recipes

Chicken Caprese Salad Panini Sandwich

Chicken Salad Recipe with Greek Yogurt and Dried Currants

Mixed Greens Egg Potato and Chicken Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette




Honey Sticky Garlic Chicken

This honey sticky garlic chicken recipe is brought to you by two online recipes, and my awful cold. I can barely talk, so I wanted something spicy and zippy to clear my head. But, since I’m not feeling well, it also had to be pretty easy. And only use pantry ingredients, since I’m not going out unless I absolutely have to!  I was stuffy before I ate this, but not after! Yay!

I found two recipes online that were not quite right on their own, so I combined them.  The first one was a bit bland. The second required boneless breasts and said to dip the chicken in eggs and panko and then bake.  I never buy chicken breasts (no flavor), I didn’t want to bother deboning the chicken thigh I had, and I sure wasn’t in the mood for all that dipping and cleanup. Four bowls! No no no.

So, this chicken dish is super-simple to make. Just brown the chicken, and make a quick sauce. The honey and rice vinegar add a touch of sweetness, while the garlic, chili garlic sauce, and a bit of jalapeño pepper add a spicy kick (just perfect when you have the creeping crud).  You can adjust the heat downwards by using sriracha instead of the chili garlic sauce and substituting bell pepper for the jalapeño. Then there’s sesame seeds for a bit of crunch.

Another option is to toss in some fresh or frozen veggies while the chicken is cooking. That makes it a heartier meal, and adds some extra color and vitamins.  Also good for colds.  A more colorful plate somehow looks tastier, I think..




 

Honey Sticky Garlic Chicken Substitutions and Variations

  • Add broccoli, snow peas, bok choy, or other veggies to the chicken about half way through the cooking process (fresh) or 15 minutes in (frozen)
  • Add extra chiles
  • If you don’t have rice vinegar, try apple cider vinegar (you want something with sweetness to balance the tartness)
  • If you have time and patience, cut the chicken up, dip in egg, and then in panko crumbs




More Chinese Chicken Recipes

stir fry chicken peanut sauce recipeStir Fry Chicken with Peanut Sauce

Why go out for chicken with peanut sauce when you can make it easily at home?  This recipe is ready in about 15 or 20 minutes, less time than you’d wait for takeout or delivery.

sichuan chinese chicken and eggplant with garlic sauceSichuan Chinese Chicken and Eggplant with Garlic Sauce

My brother was raving about the version of this at his local restaurant. So naturally I had to make my own.  Tender eggplant, a jolt from chili garlic sauce, and salty sweet hoisin sauce pack a lot of flavor. And it’s ready in minutes.

chinese chicken noodle cabbage soupChinese Chicken Noodle Cabbage Soup for One Person

Fragrant with garlic, spicy chili, and a hint of sweetness from honey, this Chinese chicken noodle cabbage soup tastes good and knocks out germs too.

Turkey Pot Pie for One Person

I’ve always loved chicken and turkey pot pie, likely because my mom does and she passed it on.  But I never made it myself, thinking it required a lot of fussing and that a turkey pot pie for one wasn’t terribly practical. I think it was the crust that scared me. However, I’ve started making more pies lately, since my brother has decided I am the designated holiday cook. And he really likes apple pie. 

So, for Thanksgiving, I made an apple pie, and the turkey, and then grabbed the remaining crust scraps, as well as turkey leftovers, and took it all home.  The pie scraps (from the all-butter crust) made the perfect topping for this turkey pot pie.  The bones were the basis for homemade stock, and the leftover cooked turkey became part of the filling.  If you don’t have turkey stock and/or leftovers, use chicken instead. 

I made my own crust and stock, but if you don’t have the time or inclination, store-bought will work just fine. If you can, get made in store stock, not the stuff in the can or box (it tastes better).  You could even get some cooked turkey from the deli counter. Then you have a semi-homemade dinner, without a lot of work.

Don’t be intimidated by the way, by the idea of making stock. It’s really easy. You just need bones (from turkey, chicken, beef or whatever kind of stock you want to make), water, salt and pepper, carrots, onions, and a bay leaf. Toss it all in a pot, bring to a boil, and then let it simmer for a couple of hours. I like to caramelize the bones and veggies in a bit of oil first, for more flavor.

I have adapted this from a food network recipe. I reduced the quantities and eliminated the celery and parsley.  If we were meant to eat celery, it would taste better and not get stuck in your teeth! 

It takes about an hour overall, in two stages. First make the filling, then add that to a six inch casserole dish, top it with the crust, and bake until golden brown.




Turkey Pot Pie for One Variations and Substitutions

  • Reduce the chicken broth to 1 3/4 C and add 1/4 cup of half and half
  • Add some sherry (about a tablespoon)
  • Add herbs, such as sage, thyme, and rosemary to the onions when you cook them
  • Substitute corn for the peas
  • Sauté some garlic with the onions

More Turkey Recipes

sweet and sour jelly turkey meatballsSweet and Sour Turkey Meatballs with Jelly and Chili Sauce

Classic comfort food that’s grown up and gotten sophisticated. Spicier, and not as sweet. You may lick the plate (my dad did).

 

easy spicy turkey soupQuick and Easy Spicy Leftover Turkey Soup

Use up that leftover holiday turkey with this south-of-the-border take on standard turkey soup. Tangy lime, spicy cayenne, and cool sour cream make the soup flavorful, rich, and satisfying.

cranberry chipotle turkey enchiladaCranberry Chipotle Turkey Enchilada

Earthy/spicy chipotle, and sweet tart cranberries combine for another Mexican-influenced treat. Use up the extra turkey, and the cranberry relish, all at once!

 

easy leftover turkey soupEasy Leftover Turkey Soup Recipe

Haven’t got the ingredients for something? Improvise! Swap the veggies, fake some Herbs de Provence, add some Riesling, and simmer. Ta da! Soup!

 

 




Brazilian Chicken Paprika Stew

I’ve always found it fascinating to see how people all over the world come up with similar foods (blintzes, crepes, tortillas). Or people take a dish from one country and then mix it up and change it to suit local tastes in a different country.  Brazilian chicken paprika stew is one of the latter. It’s a Brazilian take on Hungarian chicken paprikash.  The sour cream is gone, replaced with beans and sausage. I discovered this dish when I went to look for something to make with some extra beans, chicken, and half a lime. It’s a thick, rich, comforting stew, and not at all spicy. And it only requires one pot to make! I’m always in favor of less cleanup.

The original recipe was for 6 or 8 servings, which is way too many for one person, so I reduced it.  It also called for both chicken breasts and boneless thighs, but I much prefer the thighs, so I skipped the breasts entirely. I only had bone-in thighs, so I just cut them up and left the bones in to cook. Yes, I took them out for the photo! They’ll turn into more chicken broth later.

I used spicy chicken sausage for this, but mild is fine if you prefer less spicy food.

I served this with crusty super-easy single loaf Kitchenaid bread, but rice works too. Or whatever starch you like: potatoes, noodles, etc. to sop up the sauce.

One thing on the paprika, it turns stale pretty quickly, so use a fresh jar/box or buy it in a spice store if you can.




Brazilian Chicken Paprika Stew Substitutions and Variations

  • try it with lemon juice instead of lime
  • add some chopped peanuts and ginger
  • add some mild pepper, like poplano, either fresh or dried (ancho chili)
  •  substitute smoky paprika for extra depth of flavor

More Chicken and Bean Recipes

moroccan bean and chicken soupMoroccan Chicken and Bean Soup

Based on a Jewish version of harira,  this savory soup is traditionally made with lamb and lentils. I switched it up with chicken and beans, then flavored it with sharp/sweet ginger and turmeric.

pasta e fagioli soupPasta e Fagioli Soup (Small Batch)

Hearty, fragrant with aromatics, and elevated out of the ordinary by salty, smoky pancetta.  Perfect for a cold day (bonus: it heats your home too).

 

white bean salad sun dried tomatoesWhite Bean Salad with Sun Dried Tomatoes

A fancy bean and sun-dried tomato salad, at a fraction of the price.  Healthy, tasty, and no cooking required either.

 

 




Balsamic Vinaigrette Chicken For One

piI suppose the official name of this dish should be something like balsamic vinaigrette chicken or balsamic chicken or  another similarly elegant name.  In reality, I call it something much more straightforward (and a lot less fancy), namely “stupid easy chicken.”

It has only two ingredients.  You don’t even really have to measure anything. There’s no chopping either. Or peeling.Nothing.

In fact, all you have to do is brush or pour a bit of balsamic vinaigrette dressing over both sides of the chicken. Then put it on a small roasting pan (or just use the pan from your toaster oven), and bake. Tada!

It’s ridiculously easy. And quite tasty too.

The inspiration? I was tired one night and a long-ago co-worker’s sheet pan chicken popped into my head (why, I have no idea). Anyway, she used to take a big sheet pan of chicken parts, pour Italian dressing over it, and bake it. Instant seasoning, and an easy dinner with very little effort.

I thought, well why not make that a bit fancier, without adding any extra steps. So, I swapped the Italian dressing for balsamic vinaigrette. I used homemade, but store bought is just fine.

Then, you can simply pop a potato in the oven to bake with the chicken. Or, use the time and energy to make a fancier side dish, such as honey mustard glazed carrots. Start the water boiling for the carrots when the chicken is about half-baked.

If you’re really feeling ambitious (not that it’s hard, just maybe five minutes more effort), make your own chicken balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

Balsamic Vinaigrette Chicken Dressing Recipe

3T balsamic vinegar
1 T Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 C olive oil
Salt and pepper

Mix everything except the oil together in a small bowl.  Then slowly add the oil, stirring constantly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

You can then use that on a tossed salad or Mixed Greens Egg Potato and Chicken Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette .







 

More Chicken Recipes

chicken mango stir fryQuick Chicken Mango Stir Fry Recipe

Sweet bell peppers, juicy mango, and spicy chilis add up to an unusual, but delicious quick dinner. Ready in about 20 minutes.

 

indian royal chicken cooked in yogurtIndian Royal Chicken Cooked in Yogurt

A meal that sounds fancy, but isn’t hard to make. It’s got tangy yogurt, sweet raisins, and cardamom pods (which add a sweet, minty flavor).

 

chicken with balsamic vinegar sauceOne Pot Chicken with Balsamic Vinegar Sauce

Adapted from Jacques Pépin, this chicken dish has an ingredient you might not expect from a French cookbook. The vinegar adds a fruty/tangy flavor that complements sweet onions and the secret ingredient.

 

Lemon Cumin Mint Chicken

Lemon Cumin Mint Chicken is a quick  and easy Middle Eastern-inspired meal that uses ingredients you likely already have. The cumin and lemon add a spicy, citrusy flavor. Think of it as the sort of meal you might have sitting outside at a café along the Mediterranean sea.

I’ve adapted this from Epicurious but made several changes. First, since it’s one person, we don’t need a mixture of chicken pieces. Second, I don’t like the boneless thighs (I want the bones to make chicken broth).

The original recipe also called for lemon-infused oil (which takes three weeks to make).  Probably good, but that’s too long to wait, and I suspect it would overwhelm the chicken.

Third, the instructions said to reserve some of the garlic and scatter it over the chicken. I didn’t do that either, as I didn’t want raw garlic. And, I upped the cumin a bit.

Lastly, instead of broiling the meat, which tends to lead to dried out food (especially chicken), I simply baked it instead. About 15 minutes at 400 degrees, then baste, then another 25 minutes or so until the chicken is done and the juices run clear.

The potatoes are crispy garlic basil potato bites (without the basil).  Tomatoes were fresh from the Greenmarket.

Don’t be put off by the “prep” time. It’s really five minutes of prep, and the rest is waiting for the marinade to flavor the chicken.

Lemon Mint Cumin Chicken Substitutions and Variations

  • Try coriander instead of mint (or a mixture of the two)
  • If you have time (and patience, make the lemon oil: 1 cup oil with 3 T of lemon zest, kept refrigerated for 3 weeks, then strained).
  • Swap the lemon for lime
  • Layer portobello mushrooms and thinly sliced potatoes under the chicken

More Lemon Chicken Recipes

crispy lemon chicken thighCrispy Lemon Chicken Thigh Recipe for One

Crispy, lemony, with just a touch of sweetness from brown sugar. Think fried chicken with a lot less oil and bother.

 

Jewish chicken curry chitarneeJewish Chicken Curry Chitarnee

A one pot meal with chicken, lemon juice, tomatoes, and potatoes. All simmered together until they become sweet and aromatic.

 

homemade chicken shawarmaHomemade Chicken Shawarma with Yogurt Sauce

Transport yourself to a NY schawarma shop (like the Avengers movie), without leaving home. You don’t even need a rotisserie.

 

feta brined roast chickenFeta Brined Roast Chicken Recipe for One

Elegant enough for company, this chicken requires only a few simple ingredients. The brine keeps the chicken juicy and flavorful.

Peruvian Roast Chicken in Green Sauce Recipe

I tried this Peruvian roast chicken in green sauce recipe for the first time last week, and I can’t stop eating it! It’s not just the chicken either, it’s the sauce. I loooove the sauce. I made enough to have extra, and I’ve been putting it on everything. It’s tangy, spicy, garlicky, and just spectacular.  And the chicken is lip-smackingly good too!

There are two stages to this recipe, which I adapted from Epicurious, but since we’re only making it for one person (instead of a whole chicken) we can cut some steps and speed everything up. The reviews on the original commented that it was a lot of work (but worth the trouble). But, my way, it isn’t a lot of bother at all.  There’s a lot less to chop and a single chicken thigh cooks a lot faster than a whole bird. You wait less and you don’t have to baste as much either. No need to butterfly/spatchcock one piece of chicken!

First you mix up a spice rub for the chicken and spread it on the meat. While the chicken cooks, you make up the sauce, which is essentially tossing ingredients in a mini chopper or blender and then mixing them together with some mayonnaise. Baste the chicken once and then serve it with the sauce.

The chicken cooks at a higher temperature than usual, so it ends up with crispy skin, while still retaining its juices. Plus, it’s ready in 35-40 minutes instead of an hour and a half.

If you like, you can add a salad of cucumber, avocado, lime, olive oil, and scallions on the side.




Peruvian Roast Chicken with Green Sauce Substitutions and Variations

Unlike the usual changes, this list is largely focused on the sauce, rather than the chicken.

  • Try different herbs or combinations of herbs and leafy greens instead of the spinach. You could use basil, coriander (the original recipe), or some sage
  • Instead of mayonnaise, try Greek yogurt or lebne
  • Serve the sauce over eggs with crusty bread
  • Use the sauce as a dip with fresh cut up carrots, tomatoes, bell peppers, and cucumber wedges
  • if you don’t have fresh lemon, use dried lemon peel and bottled lemon juice

More Chicken Recipes

crispy lemon chicken thighCrispy Lemon Chicken Thigh Recipe for One

Great hot or cold, this is perfect for picnics. There’s three kinds of lemon (don’t worry, nothing unusual), and a crispy crust that tastes like you fried it (but you won’t have to).

 

chili citrus chicken thighChili Citrus Chicken Thigh Recipe for One

The flavors of Buffalo wings, without any frying. The garlic adds zest and the chili packs the heat (but not too much heat). Cheaper than wings too.

 

feta brined roast chickenFeta Brined Roast Chicken

Bathed in a briny blend of of feta cheese and lemon to keep it moist, and lock in flavor. Serve the finished chicken on a bed of earthy spinach.

 

honey sticky garlic chickenHoney Sticky Garlic Chicken

Delight your taste buds and fight colds with this crispy/sweet/spicy chicken. Ready in 30 minutes, from pantry ingredients.

 




Vietnamese Chicken with Lime and Ginger

Great for a weeknight dinner, this Vietnamese baked chicken with lime is an easy meal that requires very little active work.  Measure, mince, and pour, then let it sit.  Once it’s finished marinating, all you have to do is cook it for half an hour. The ginger and garlic are warm and spicy, while the chili garlic sauce has a bit of a kick. The lime adds brightness and a citrusy tang that complements the spicy flavors and cools them down. 

The original recipe called for chili garlic paste, palm sugar, and fish sauce.  And, it’s true, those ingredients would be more authentic. However, they also violate my own rules about avoiding  hard-to-find or one use ingredients.  I don’t want to buy an entire bottle or brick of something (like palm sugar) just to have it sit there. And where would I even find palm sugar? Nope.

So, I cheated.  I used chili garlic sauce (not paste), swapped brown sugar for palm sugar, and ditched the fish sauce in favor of Worcestershire sauce (which does have some anchovies in it). I also wanted (for personal preference) to avoid all the salt in the fish sauce.

Marinating, even for a short time, helps the chicken absorb lots of flavor. 

When you’re ready to start cooking, just pour out the marinade, pop the chicken in the oven, and wait half an hour. Dinner is done!

 

Tip: Make extra rice and freeze it in little baggies. Then when you want rice another day, all you have to do is microwave it. One minute rice!




Vietnamese Baked Chicken with Lime Substitutions and Variations

  • add some soy sauce to the marinade
  • swap the lime zest for lemongrass (you can buy lemongrass paste, which is easier to find in western markets than the stalks)
  • chop up some cilantro and add that to the marinade
  • if you do like fish sauce, I’m told Red Boat and Three Crabs are good brands (avoid the Taste of Thai, it’s full of sugar)

More Chicken Recipes

Jewish chicken curry chitarneeJewish Chicken Curry Chitarnee

A Jewish curry? Yep.  It’s flavored with onions, lemon, and cardamom. It’s not spicy, more aromatic, tangy, and mellow.  Only one pot too. And since it’s got potatoes cooked along in that pot, the entire meal is one pot, not just the main course.

honey sticky garlic chickenHoney Sticky Garlic Chicken

Want to fight some nasty germs? This chicken will help. There’s chili garlic sauce, hot peppers, and garlic: all of which help clear your head. It’s also easy to make. Just brown the chicken and make a quick sauce.

peruvian roast chicken with green saucePeruvian Roast Chicken in Green Sauce Recipe

I just can’t stop eating this. The sauce has spicy peppers, earthy spinach, and citrusy lime, with just a touch of mayo to hold it all together.  Great for chicken, or for a veggie dip.

stir fry chicken peanut sauce recipeStir Fry Chicken with Peanut Sauce

You don’t have to go out for “takeout” food. Make it yourself at home. Eat it hot right away, or chill, add extra veggies, and transform it into a salad.