Many of you noticed the architectural wonder that was part of our May Guest Test Kitchen. The dish was an ode to the flavors of the Caribbean. Although the meal was created in a town in North Carolina, everyone who looked at the photo seemed to have a virtual taste on their tongue of the coconut, lime and spice that sat on the plate. Cooking can indeed take you places, and you don’t have to go any farther than your local market if you’re ready for the trip. Nothing can beat a real flight out of town and into a new world, but sometimes you have to take what you can get. Well, it’s time for another trip to the Caribbean, and this time, we will be your tour guides.
A fruit salsa can go a long way. It works very well over fish and chicken for sure. The spicier the meat, the more the salsa will cool the palate. Or you can be a brave soldier and match the spice level for both. For this recipe, the chicken is coated with a variety of dried spices and herbs, all of which are notable but subtle. The salsa adds a bright level of spark to each bite due to the fresh ingredients and also varied texture. Eat this straight out of the oven or wrap it up in a fresh tortilla for revamped leftovers. Besides, salsa and tortillas were made for each other as well.
Spiced Chicken with Black Bean and Mango Salsa – Serves 4 to 6
8 chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon black pepper
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 tablespoon ground oregano
1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 tablespoon paprika
15 ounces black beans, drained and rinsed
4 cloes garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
2 vine tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
1 Persian cucumber, chopped
1 mango, chopped
1 small red onion, minced
1 serrano pepper, minced
Juice and zest of 2 limes
1/8 cup olive oil, plus more if desired
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. On a small plate, toss together the dried spices until evenly mixed and press both sides of the chicken into the spices to coat. Set aside.
3. Drizzle a bit of olive oil into a stove top grill pan or frying pan over medium high heat. Once hot, sear both sides of the chicken, approximately 1-2 minutes per side. Immediately slide the pan into the oven. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the juices run clear.
4. As the chicken cooks, carefully mix together the ingredients for salsa, adding more olive oil to taste. Salt to taste before serving with the chicken.
Click HERE for the printable recipe.