Not that anyone really cares, but if I had to choose my most favorite of all favorite fruits, I’m pretty sure I’ve finally decided that it would be mangoes. I’ve waffled back and forth over the years (because, you know, it’s like, such a big decision to make; you have to be prepared when someone asks you what your favorite fruit is and I’m always paranoid that when it comes up in conversation, I’ll choke and say something like “kiwi?” and then regret it for days) but just recently, I’ve decided to finally commit. And I feel good about it. Mangoes. Mangoes forever.
My kids love them also but have learned that if I’m slicing a mango for after school snack, they better get their little fingies in there and grab fast, otherwise, none of that mango deliciousness is making it to the table. I just can’t resist. It’s like one piece and then 12 more and then…howdidthishappen…the mango is gone.
You might be wondering what mangoes have to do with anything today. That’s a valid question. Never fear, I have an answer: this sweet paprika chicken, while magnificent on its own, is simply amazing served with fresh mangoes. The flavor balance is impeccable and the bright, juicy mangoes are so tasty with the lightly sweet and spicy, golden chicken.
Of course, if you choose to also serve it with the cilantro lime rice, you’ll probably be in food heaven. Even Brian, who admittedly has been watching a few too many episodes of the Triple D on Food Network over my shoulder, was throwing around phrases like “this is off the chain.” And it really is.
Not only is it super, super fast (20 minutes easy), it really is crazy good in the flavor department. Definitely one of our best meals this month so far. I know, it’s only the 8th and there’s a lot more month to come, but I have a feeling it’s going to keep it’s standing for a while. A truly fabulous meal to start off the week.
Cilantro Lime Rice
Fresh mango slices
I almost always cut the boneless, skinless chicken breasts lengthwise into two thinner chicken cutlets (slicing it like you would a hot dog bun but all the way through). This means that often I can get away with using 2-3 thicker chicken breasts and still feeding our family of 7. If you don't choose to do that or the chicken isn't thick enough to cut that way, you may want to pound slightly to flatten to a more even thickness.
- 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts pounded to flatten slightly or cut in half to form two thinner chicken cutlets
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or canola or vegetable oil)
- Cilantro Lime Rice, fresh mango slices, lime wedges for serving (optional)
- In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, paprika, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and pat the spice mixture onto the chicken breasts, rubbing it into the chicken to create an even coating.
- In a large, 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the coconut oil (or other oil) over medium heat until hot and rippling. Add the chicken in a single layer (you may need to do separate batches) and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side depending on how thick the chicken pieces are (the chicken will register 160 degrees on an instant read thermometer when cooked fully). The chicken will darken quite a bit due to the brown sugar in the spice rub. Adjust the heat if you feel the chicken is burning or overcooking - it will be dry if it overcooks so cook it just until cooked through so it stays juicy and tender.
- Remove the chicken to a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken pieces, if needed.
- Let the chicken rest 5 or so minutes before serving. Serve with cilantro lime rice, fresh mangoes and lime wedges for the ultimate dining experience.
Recipe Source: adapted from Creme de la Crumb