Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Mango Chicken Salad

Ever pick up an item in the grocery store with absolutely no idea what you're going to do with it? Yeah. Thought so. I almost always end up at the checkout line with something in my basket that I absolutely don't need and have no idea why I put it in there. I'm pretty good at putting the item back, but I'm always a bit baffled by what I was thinking.

I was picking up spinach for my Single Girls Lunch Salad (which I am still eating pretty much every single work day for dinner), and I found a bag of Mangos at 3 for $1. Since this was the Mango deal of the century, I really couldn't say no. I absolutely adore Mango, even though it's one of the hardest fruits to get the flesh out of ever. If anyone has handy tricks for that, let me know. As I continued around the store I kept thinking on what I was going to do. I didn't want to get to the check out line and have absolutely no use for the fruit, then come home and just chop it all up and put it in the freezer. Luckily for me, inspiration hit as I passed by the meat counter and spied some gorgeous fresh chicken breasts.

Mango and Chicken go together really really well. Add a tangy dressing to tie it all together and you have a delicious lunch. It's really easy to make ahead, and luckily, nothing will really get soggy if it sits in the fridge for a few hours. I think one of my favorite things about this dish is that it looks bright and sunny and, well, happy. It taste pretty darn good too.

Mango Chicken Salad

1 Mango
1 Large Chicken Breast
2 Cups Spinach, chopped
2 Tablespoons Walnuts, chopped
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Rice Wine Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Water
1 Teaspoon Poppy Seeds (optional)
Salt and Pepper

In a non-stick pan, heat a little olive or canola oil. Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken and sauté over a medium high heat until  just cooked through. You want to get a nice color on the chicken, so the outside is almost a little crispy. I usually cover the pan with a lid for the first few minutes to try and ensure the chicken cooks through and doesn't dry out. 

Dice up the flesh of the Mango. Put 1/3rd of it in a blender with the water, olive oil, rice wine vinegar and a few grinds of salt and pepper. Blend into a smooth dressing. Stir in the poppy seeds. 

Mix the spinach with the rest of the mango and the chopped walnuts. Put on two plates. Slice the chicken breast and lay over the greens. Add a few more grinds of salt and pepper over the whole dish. Pour over the dressing. Eat, and feel the sunshine.

Makes 2 Servings.

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