Cilantro Chicken with California Avocado and Pickled Tomato Salsa

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Nutritional Highlights (per serving)

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36.5 g
Total Fat
4.75 g
Dietary Fiber
119 mg
243 mg
 Cilantro Chicken with California Avocado and Pickled Tomato Salsa

Recipe created by chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger for the California Avocado Commission.


Serves: 4
  (6 oz.) boneless chicken thighs or breasts, with skin
  As needed  Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4  cup  Extra virgin olive oil
1/4  cup  freshly squeezed lime juice
  bunch cilantro leaves, chopped
Tbsp.  ground cumin
  scallions, trimmed
  Pickled Tomato Salsa (see make-ahead recipe below)
  ripe Fresh California Avocados, peeled, seeded and cut in 1/2-inch dice
cups  cooked brown basmati rice
    Pickled Tomato Salsa
lb.  tomatoes, peeled, seeded and cut in quarters
1/2    bunch scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
  Serrano chiles, with seeds, thinly sliced in rounds
1/2  cup  white vinegar
2 1/2  Tbsp.  brown sugar
tsp.  salt
tsp.  freshly grated ginger
Tbsp.  minced garlic
tsp.  yellow mustard seeds
tsp.  cracked black peppercorns
tsp.  ground cumin
tsp.  cayenne
1/2  tsp.  turmeric
1/2  cup  Extra virgin olive oil

As with all fruits and vegetables, wash avocados before cutting. Check out our tips for how to choose and use California Avocados


  1. In a shallow, non-reactive dish, season chicken on all sides with salt and pepper. Combine olive oil, lime juice, cilantro and cumin in a small bowl. Brush mixture on scallions and pour remainder over chicken, tossing to evenly coat. Allow to marinate at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes.
  2. Preheat broiler or grill. Beginning with skin side toward the heat source, broil or grill chicken until just cooked through, about 12 minutes per side for thighs and about 9 minutes per side for breasts. Grill or broil scallions about 2 minutes per side.
  3. Toss Pickled Tomato Salsa with diced avocados and reserve until chicken is cooked.
  4. To serve, arrange grilled chicken over a bed of basmati rice. Mound avocado salsa mixture on top of chicken. Garnish with grilled scallions. Serve immediately.

Pickled Tomato Salsa

  1. In a large bowl, toss tomatoes with scallions and chiles.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring vinegar to a boil. Add brown sugar and salt, and cook until dissolved, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and reserve.
  3. Measure ginger, garlic, mustard seeds, cracked peppercorns, cumin, cayenne and turmeric onto a plate and place near stove. In another medium saucepan, heat oil over moderate heat until just smoking. Add spices and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until aromas are released, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vinegar mixture. Immediately pour over reserved tomato mixture. Stir to combine, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 3 to 4 hours or several days.
  4. Before serving, remove tomatoes from juices, roughly chop, and return to pickling liquid.Note: To peel tomatoes, remove the cores and score an X on the underside. Blanch for 15 seconds in boiling water and immediately plunge into iced water to prevent continued cooking. Peel with a paring knife.

Pickled Tomato Salsa may be made up to 3 days in advance and reserved until ready to use.

*Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.

Calories 640
Total Fat 36.5 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Saturated Fat 6.3 g
Unsaturated Fat 22 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5 mg
Dietary Fiber 4.75 g
Protein 0 g
Total Carbs 0 g
Cholesterol 119 mg
Sodium 243 mg
Potassium 0 mg
Total Sugar 0 g
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 Calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Mary Sue Milliken

Chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, Border Grill in Los Angeles, CA

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