A perfectly ripe mango is a beautiful thing. It’s the beginning of mango season in my neck of the woods, a time I look forward to every year from March until June. We’re lucky to have access to some beautiful and exotic fruit here in the UAE, and countries like India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Australia, and Egypt produce some of the finest mangoes around. Alphonse, Badami, and Taimour are among mango varieties that are equally brilliant in their own right.
Since I’ve wanted to write a post featuring this golden yellow fruit for a while now, I headed off to the market in my quest for some sweet mango deliciousness. The only ones I found, however, were mushy, bruised, battered and shriveled. Where were those amazing, super sweet mangoes I salivate over every spring? After shuffling through countless piles and smelling the ones I thought had a bit of promise (a good mango should smell like a mango!), I made my way to another market, and then another. Still no luck!
When I went back to the market the next day in search of some inspiration… there they were! A tower of magnificent mangoes at the height of their ripeness, just waiting to be taken home and devoured!
What a difference a day makes! Mango season has officially begun.
Mango marinated chicken with a sweet corn, mango, and avocado salsa (Serves 2-4)
For the chicken breast:
- Two boneless, skinless organic or free-range chicken breasts – trimmed of any visible fat
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Juice of ½ a lemon
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Mango pulp (I use the pulp that sticks to the mango pit and squeeze whatever there is left onto the chicken breast, otherwise you can use the pulp from half a mango)
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
For the mango sweet corn salsa:
- 2 small or 1 large ripe mango, cut into ½ inch cubes
- 3 ears of fresh corn, or 2 cups frozen
- 1 spring onion, finely sliced (light green and white parts)
- 1 avocado, cut into ¼ inch cubes
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh coriander, chopped
- A pinch of red chili (optional), finely copped
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the green salad:
- 2 to 3 heads of baby gem lettuce or the equivalent of any other tender greens, washed and dried well
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- A pinch of salt
Cut the chicken breast in half to thin it out. The sweetness of the marinade will make the chicken cook quickly on the exterior, so it’s important to thin out the chicken to make sure the inside is cooked through.
Put the Dijon, olive oil, and honey in a bowl. Whisk to emulsify the ingredients.
Add the mango pulp along with the garlic, salt, and pepper and mix.
Add the chicken breast, coat well with the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate one hour or overnight.
Heat a grill pan or non-stick frying pan over medium high heat (if you are using a frying pan, you will need to coat it with a little olive oil).
Remove the chicken from the marinade. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until cooked through (time can vary depending on thickness).
For the mango sweet corn salsa:
Put mango, corn, spring onion, avocado, and lemon juice in a large bowl and mix to combine.
Add the honey, olive oil, coriander, chili, salt, and pepper and toss gently. Give it a taste, and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
For the salad dressing:
Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt. Set aside until ready to prepare the salad.
Divide the salad leaves among serving plates, drizzle on the salad dressing.
Arrange the chicken and salsa beside the salad, garnishing with extra mango or avocado cubes, if desired.