Curried Chicken Paillard with Mango and Cherry Tomato Relish
I spent the past weekend in Mexico City on one of my bestie’s bachelorettes, and it was glorious.
Honestly, it was the least bachelorette-y bachelorette in the best possible way. No disrespect to the traditional bach—I will be drinking yard-long Miami Vices in a white bedazzled bikini on the Vegas strip come August—but there is something to be said for a low-key, culture-heavy iteration.
Between responsible tequila breaks, our six-person crew managed to squeeze in plenty of city exploration, long walks (I regretted my decision to pack exclusively fancy footwear), bustling outdoor markets, and visits to Chapultepec Castle and Frida Kahlo’s house, which I considered rather impressive. Especially since my past bachelorette activities have mostly involved rolling around on a lounge chair, carbo-loading, and inhaling cocktails through a penis straw. Needless to say, I felt very accomplished and smug as I ate my airport gummy bears on Sunday.
There are many wonderful things to be said about Mexico City, but the real selling point for me was the food. We had some truly epic feasts, one of which went down at a festive little spot called Azul Condesa. The menu offered a smorgasbord of Mexican delicacies, but there was also a surprise. It was…wait for it…
MANGO MONTH!!! This mango fiesta was taken very seriously, and the menu included a bright yellow, double-page insert with recipes featuring the fruit. (One of the walls of the restaurant was also covered in a matching floor to ceiling poster announcing the month-long fruit celebration. Commitment!) The sheer volume of mango dishes was mindblowing, and as a mango fetishist, I was equally thrilled and overwhelmed.
There were so many delicious non-mango menu options that we only ended up ordering one fruity specialty—a spicy pico de gallo. It was unreal. Nobody was really paying attention to it (thank GOD), so I just kept eating it solo at my end of the table and thinking about how I would like to smother everything I eat in it forever and ever. Amen.
The memory of that pico inspired me to buy several mangos earlier this week and whip up one of my personal favorite (albeit not Mexican) mango-centric meals: Chicken Paillard with Mango and Cherry Tomato Relish. This recipe is quite the warm weather showstopper, friends, and with grill(pan) season officially upon us, I’m hoping you’ll add it into the rotation, stat.
Let’s talk chicken first. Paillard-ing is one of my favorite techniques for making tender, juicy chicken, and it couldn’t be easier. Just place the chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic, pound the shit out of them with the bottom of a skillet (or a meat mallet if you fancy like that), give them a short soak in a citrusy spice bath, and throw them on a grill(pan) for a few minutes on each side. Done and done.
This chicken is great on its own—and I use it to top bowls and salads on the reg—but topped with the Mango and Cherry Tomato Relish it’s practically a revelation. The relish is sweet and tangy with an herbal freshness courtesy of mint and cilantro, and the red onion gives it the perfect amount of bite. Its bright flavors are the perfect addition to the smoky curried chicken, although it’s tempting to eat the relish straight up with a spoon. (Which is obviously allowed/encouraged.)
I like to serve my chicken and relish over greens, whole grains, or cauliflower rice, but I also love the idea of stuffing them in a pita with a little yogurt or wrapping them up in warm lavash or tortillas. Ooooh, you could also chop up the chicken, mix it with the relish and serve it in lettuce cups! Maybe add some avocado? You do you.
Curried Chicken Paillard with Mango and Cherry Tomato RelishAuthor -
- Juice of 1 lemon
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, (6- to 8-ounces each)
For the Mango and Cherry Tomato Relish:
- ½ small red onion very thinly sliced
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 ripe mango seeded, peeled, and diced
- 1 dry pint cherry tomatoes quartered
- ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves chopped
- ¼ cup fresh mint leaves chopped
- Kosher salt
- In a medium bowl, whisk the lemon juice, olive oil, curry powder, smoked paprika, salt, garlic powder, and cayenne. Briefly set aside.
- One at a time, place each chicken breast between two pieces of plastic wrap. Using the bottom of a skillet, pound the chicken to a ¼-inch thickness. (Be careful not to over pound the chicken—you don’t want to tear the meat!)
- Place the pounded chicken breasts in a large ziplock food storage bag, and add the marinade. Seal the bag, removing as much air as possible, and gently squish the chicken around so each breast gets coated in the marinade. Let marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the relish. In a mixing bowl, toss the red onions with the lemon juice. Let rest for 5 minutes just to mellow the onion’s “bite.” Add the mango, cherry tomatoes, cilantro, mint, and a pinch of salt. Gently toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate while you grill the chicken.
- Preheat a grill (or grill pan) over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade and place it on the hot grill. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until cooked through. (If using a grill pan, you will likely need to cook the chicken in batches.)
- Serve the chicken warm or at room temperature topped with relish.
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This is my favorite marinated and grilled chicken recipe for the summer — it is SO freakin’ good. I would never have thought to use this combo of spices for a marinade but wow do they pack a punch. I’ll usually let this marinade for at least an hour and sometimes I’ll make extra so I can use the chicken on salads throughout the week. The relish is so fresh and delicious as well. If I can’t find ripe mango, I’ll buy and drain the mango chunks (in 100% juice) from the store and they work great too. This recipe is a hit with everyone I’ve made it for — try it out!
Interesting. (Comments below.). I’m just a nobody cook blogger who takes my blog very seriously, and takes other blogs seriously. But I have unfollowed many blogs because of the total lack of interaction. You youngster women, some with children, are terribly busy (done that) and some of you have cookbooks, which creates other responsibilities which you are living now. I get it. And it does take time to write comments on all of the blogs I follow, but that is what, I think, all of us bloggers never expected – that community of food lovers/bloggers, our virtual friends who are passionate about cooking and eating. I’ve even visited one blogger in France 3 times, 1 in London, and 2 in Dallas. I also really dislike blogs where the ads pop up, and links pop over, so much so that you can’t even read the f’ing blog. I get it – you’re more in to making money, which you’re certainly allowed to do. But what I’m getting at is that I’ve always appreciated you checking out some of my blog posts and commenting, and commenting on my comments here. I know you’re busy, but most authors don’t. So there. I feel honored. And you’re one of those fancy bloggers with a cookbook!!! Thanks. And as soon as my new refrigerator comes in, I will make the cauliflower carrot salad. Sub-Zeros do die.
Thank you so much for this fabulous notes Mimi! I agree with you, at its core blogging is about interaction, and that interaction is why I love doing what I do. Things are inevitably going to get hectic from time to time, and I may not always be able to keep up the level of communication that I’d like with readers and other bloggers, but I’m going to do my very best to try and keep my connections alive in every way I can. And just know that I get so excited every time I see your name pop up in my comments queue. So grateful for the support over the years!! xox
My comment is not related to the post (which looks delicious as usual). I am writing because I feel disappointed (and maybe a little bitter). When I first started reading your blog a year ago, I was pleasantly surprised that somebody can write about health(ish) food in a non-stuck-up, non-preaching way while being funny and relatable. Naturally, I subscribed to the blog and later bought the Dude Diet cookbook. The fact that you offered to e-mail you for help over Thanksgiving weekend made me feel like you are a down-to-earth person and our friend in a way. The feeling was affirmed by all of your posts. When I ran into an physical issue with the cookbook (the binding basically fell apart after a few months and became very hard to use), I felt like I could reach out to you for help. I wrote an e-mail through the blog website twice and heard nothing. Luckily, the Amazon folks were able to hook me up and sent me a replacement cookbook, but I haven’t felt the same about this blog as I no longer feel like you would have our back. This is probably way too much attachment to a stranger over the internetz, but you were the first blogger I could truly relate to and I was sad to lose that connection.
I completely understand your frustration, as I would be totally po’d if I got a book that was falling apart (WTF?!). I just searched back through my contact forms for your name and found your email about the book binding. I am so sorry that you had the binding issue, and that I didn’t respond to you!!! The best part about this blog/social media is connecting with people on the internets, and I’m sad to hear that you now feel the connection is broken. My only excuse is that I’ve been on the road with the book since late February and things have gotten a little out of hand. Between organizing the events and travel and running the blog, emails occasionally slip through the cracks. I try really hard to respond to each and every one, but I don’t have any support staff and sometimes I drop the ball. This weird blog lady is only human. Again, I apologize for disappointing you.
I’m glad to know that you are reading our comments (and e-mails for the most part). And thanks for responding! Connection restored! I’m easy like that:) I am still a huge fan of your work: I use your cookbook on a weekly basis and don’t have to adjust recipes like I do with most of the other blogs because my meat-loving husband would not eat it otherwise. Keep up the good work!
Phew!! Honored to be virtually in your kitchen on the reg and thrilled to hear there have been so many dude-approved victories! xx
I was really happy to read this series of comments <3
I appreciate you, lady!! <3
That is so kind of you!