Monday, June 20, 2011

A Simple Recipe For You

This Chicken Avocado Salad recipe works great all year long and we used to make tons of it at Stroh's. While there are almost always several varieties of fresh avocados available at your local farmers market or supermarket to choose from, sometimes there aren't any on hand that are ripe yet .  If the avocado isn't quite ready yet, a great technique to help the avocado along in its ripening process is to place it in a paper bag at room temperature to help it ripen for a couple of days. I first came across this technique here in California when my produce purveyor slipped me a case of rock hard avocados. One of the guys in the kitchen put them in a paper bag and sure enough within a couple of days they were ready to go ! As it turns out when Avocados ripen they naturally produce ethylene gas. Placing them in the bag traps the gas and allows the process to speed up.

Recipe - Chicken Avocado Salad

Ingredients for about four servings: 
  • 3 Chicken Breasts                                                       
  • 4 Avocados
  • 1/2 bunch Fresh Cilantro                                           
  • 2 - 3 Lemons
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil                                                  
  • Cider or Champagne Vinegar
  • 1 Red Onion                                                                 
  • Kosher Salt / Fresh Ground Pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Start off by rinsing off the chicken breasts and patting them dry with a paper towel then lightly season them with olive oil and salt and pepper. Sear the chicken breasts in a skillet about four minutes or until golden brown and flip them over and place the whole pan in the oven to finish cooking them off. If you aren't sure if they are done and prefer a thermometer than you will need to hit 165 degrees at the center. When they are finished place them directly in the refrigerator to cool. 
Next, cut the ends off of the onion and then cut in half. Make one more cut at a right angle to the face of the onion and shave off razor thin slices. You can do it! Just take your time, keep your fingers out of the way and use a good sharp knife that feels comfortable in your hand. If the onion makes you cry too much put it in the freezer for ten minutes before you slice it and this will reduce the tears.
Pick the leaves off of the cilantro and finely chop them. 
Take the chicken out of the fridge once it's cool and dice it into small bite sized cubes. 
In a mixing bowl combine the chicken, shaved red onion, and cilantro and gently mix them together
Slice the avocados in half and remove the pit, then remove the avocado from the skin.Dice the avocado by placing it on its face and make several evenly spaced cuts lengthwise, and one through the center of the piece by running your blade parallel with the cutting board through the avocado. Next, cut the avocado width wise to create a small dice. Add the diced avocado the the mixing bowl and gently mix the ingredients together. 
Squeeze the lemon juice from all of the lemons to flavor the salad and keep the avocados from turning brown. Add a few tablespoons of the vinegar and a liberal amount of olive oil. Salt and pepper to season and enjoy !