Tropical Chicken Salad with Mango and Arugula
Tropical Chicken Salad with Mango and Arugula

Written by: Shannon Partrick

December 11, 2020
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About this recipe

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How to make brick chicken

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Recipe

Recipe by: Shannon Partrick

Tropical Chicken Salad with Mango and Arugula

“I just want something fresh!” —a popular expression in our home. Cucumbers, avocados, pomegranate seeds, bright citrus, tropical fruit, and bitter greens are all popular players in our daily routine. Our snacking practice typically involves handfuls of the above items, plus a variety of nuts, seeds, and berries.

As busy people working from home, the concept of “lunch” is not always on the table (no pun intended). But every once in a while we get it together and make something more substantial, like this tropical chicken salad with mango and arugula. I know it’s a little unusual for tropical salad to make an appearance in winter but, this is southern California so, you know, anything goes.

This tropical chicken salad with mango and arugula is healthy and fresh, fun and tropical, packed with flavor, and involves minimal effort (my favorite part). It’s perfect for a sunny day, a lazy afternoon, or for those times when you just want to eat something pretty.

I used cilantro since it’s what I had on hand, but any combination of your favorite herbs would be a fantastic substitute. You could also use lemon-garlic shrimp, seared tempeh, or marinated beans in place of the brick chicken. You could also remove the protein entirely for a delicious snack or side dish.

Tropical Chicken Salad with Mango and Arugula

How to Make Brick Chicken

Ok, I know there are a lot of methods out there for “best chicken breast recipe ever” but honestly, truly, this is mine. The method is quite simple and you’ll end up with the juiciest chicken breast with a perfectly browned exterior.

 

Step One

Turn the oven to 425 F. Pat your chicken breasts dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. You could use 2-4 breasts with this one pan method.

Step Two

Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat – you want it to be HOT. Add 2 tbsp fat to the pan (my favorite is a mix of avocado oil and ghee, but anything will work). Add the chicken breasts to the pan in one single layer, lay a piece of aluminum foil on top of the breasts, and place a heavy object on top. I use a cast iron dutch oven, but any pot or a stack of plates would work. Set timer for 7 minutes. No peaking!

Step Three

Remove the heavy object and discard the foil. Flip the breasts over and transfer to the oven for 10-15 minutes depending on the size of your breast. I always start with 10 and check the temperature, then cook for longer if needed.

 

That’s it! Probably the most utilized technique in our home. Whenever we don’t know what to make, we roast seasonal vegetables and make brick chicken. I love to squeeze a lemon on top and smother with fresh parsley.

Tropical Chicken Salad with Mango and Arugula

Tropical Chicken Salad with Mango and Arugula

Paleo, Whole 30, Gluten-Free

Serves 2

This Tropical Chicken Salad with Mango and Arugula is healthy and fresh, fun and tropical, and so simple to prepare. It also happens to be compliant with just about every dietary approach out there, so you can feel confident making this for just about anyone. 

Ingredients

For the Chicken

2 chicken breasts
2 tbsp avocado oil
salt and pepper to taste

For the Salad

1 red onion diced
1 tomato diced
1 cucumber peeled, seeded & diced
1 cup arugula
1 mango diced
1 avocado diced
1/2 cup cilantro
salt and pepper to taste

For the Dressing

2 tbsp avocado oil
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove minced
1/2 tsp flaky salt such as Maldon

Preparation

Step 1 – The Chicken

Preheat the oven to 425 F and place a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Coat the skillet with a light layer of avocado oil, and sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.

Add the chicken breasts to the skillet and place a heavy object on top (I use a cast iron dutch oven). Set a timer for 7 minutes and walk away. When the timer goes off, remove the heavy object, flip the breasts, and immediately transport to the hot oven. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 F. Remove from the skillet and allow to rest while you prep the rest of the salad.

 

Step 2 – The Dressing

With a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic with the flaky salt until a smooth paste forms. Add in the lemon juice and pound until smooth, then slowly integrate the oil and continue pounding until a thick dressing forms.

 

Step 3 – The Salad

In a big salad bowl, combine the red onion, tomato, cucumber, avocado, arugula, cilantro, and mango. Chop up the chicken breast and add to the bowl. Drizzle with dressing and toss to coat everything. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and enjoy.

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