I love mango season! When I lived in Miami, I almost think people hated mango season. Mangoes were falling out of the trees, littering the roads, piled on the curbs… some people PAID others to come to their yard and take away all the fruit so they wouldn’t have to deal with it! Stands popped up everywhere, selling mangoes for dirt cheap. In the mall where I worked, a customer even gave me a bag full of the fruit for being nice. Hey, I’ll take it!
Here in the midwest we don’t have that “problem”. The mangos are nicely contained in the grocery store, though I wouldn’t mind having a mango tree in my back yard. I could eat them all day every day.
This dish was the result of the need to cook something to go with the mango surplus in my house. I LOVE a good mango salsa, and this is essentially a mango salsa with larger chunks of veggies and an addition of corn, earning it the label “salad” in my mind. Paired with a sweet coconut rice and a spicy, nearly blackened jerk chicken, it was a lovely fresh and healthy meal.
This recipe is pretty simple. There are a few tricks you need to be aware of. First, you should marinate the chicken for at least 3 hours. Over night is better. A little thinking ahead makes day of cooking so much easier and delicious.
Second, pound the chicken to an even width, and don’t leave the breasts too thick. I would say 1 – 1.5 inches is the best. Otherwise you’ll be stuck, like I was, baking it in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes so it finishes cooking. The meat thermometer will tell you when it’s done – 165F for chicken.
Also, it’s ok if it blackens on the outside! That’s good flavor, and there’s plenty of that to go around in this dish.
Jerk Chicken & Mango Corn SaladPrint Recipe
- 2 chicken breasts, pounded to equal thickness
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- 1/2 tbsp italian seasoning
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- Juice of 4 limes divided
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 cup white rice
- 1/4 tsp Lemon pepper
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 large mango, flesh chopped
- 1 small cucumber, chopped
- 1/2 small red onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 3 - 4 tbsp cilantro, diced
- 2 ears corn
- 1/2 tbsp sugar
- Salt to taste
First, prepare the marinade at least 3 hours before you wish to cook. Pound the breasts so that they are of similar thickness - this will making cooking more even. Combine 1/2 cup olive oil, garlic, cayenne, red pepper flakes, garam masala, Italian seasoning, brown sugar and juice of 2 limes into a ziplock bag and massage to coat chicken and combine. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
When you are ready to eat, remove chicken from fridge and begin the rice. Combine rice and coconut milk in a small sauce pan. Heat over medium high heat until boiling, and then lower to simmer. Simmer for 15 - 20 minutes until rice is cooked and liquid is absorbed. Set aside. to cool. Add in lemon pepper, salt and 1 tsp honey.
After you've begun the rice, prepare the salad. Bring a pot of water to a boil and boil ears of corn for 1-2 minutes. Remove from water and allow to cool before removing the kernels and adding to the salad. Chop mango, cucumber and red onion. Combine with cilantro, juice of 2 limes, sugar and salt and stir to combine. Add corn when cool enough.
Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add a little olive oil. Add the chicken breasts and cook about 5 - 8 minutes per side. You may keep flipping the breasts until chicken is forming a nice brown crust. Using your meat thermometer, cook until breasts register at 165F. I actually had to put mine in the oven because they were too thick. I baked mine at 350F for about 10 - 15 more minutes until they were done. Keep checking with that meat thermometer! Allow meat to rest for a couple minutes after it has finished cooking.