chicken with pickled salsa

Chicken is one of the most versatile meats when it comes to cooking. You can grill it, fry it, bake it, roast it, poach it, and season it however you want. You can dress it up, dress it down, stuff it, brine it, or top it with a lovely sauce. I’m always looking for a great chicken dish, and by golly, I think I may have found a new favorite. This grilled cilantro chicken with tomato avocado salsa is anything from boring. This is another winner that I fell in love with in the first bite. Healthy, flavorful, moist chicken to the rescue! cilantro chicken with tomato avocado salsacilantro chicken with tomato avocado salsacilantro chicken with tomato avocado salsacilantro chicken with tomato avocado salsa

Serves 4


Grilled cilantro chicken with tomato and avocado salsa

1 hrTotal Time

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  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 lb tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 firm-ripe avocados, cut into chunks
  • Chicken
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 lb chicken drumsticks and thighs on the bone


  1. Combine vinegar with water, sugar, and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat.
  2. Heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. and add ginger, garlic, cumin, cayenne, black peppercorns, mustard seeds, and turmeric and saute until aromatics become fragrant about 45 seconds. Add seasonings to vinegar mixture and pour over the tomatoes and jalapeno. Cool completely. Add chopped cilantro and avocados. Set aside.
  3. Marinate the chicken. Combine olive oil - black pepper. Add chicken and marinate for 30 minutes.
  4. Heat grill to medium-high. Add the chicken and grill until cooked through about 15 minutes, turning the chicken over halfway. Remove chicken from grill and plate on a platter. Top with prepared salsa. Serve.

**Helpful tips and common mistakes

I used to not enjoy pickled vegetables as a kid. The sour taste was just off-putting. As my palate developed over the years, I started like pickled items more and more and now I have an infatuation with them. Pickled carrots, pickled onions, pickled okra, pickled salsa, send them all over my way! You may be hesitant to give this a try but  I kid you not, this dish is pretty fabulous.

When preparing the salsa, prepare it ahead of time to allow the tomatoes to soak up the sauce. The tomatoes should ideally sit in the liquids for at least one hour and no more than 4. I left my tomato salsa in the dressing overnight, making the tomatoes a bit too soft.

Don’t skimp on any of the seasonings! This is what will make the salsa incredibly flavorful. I personally like my salsa extra spicy so I added an additional chili; adjust according to your preferences.tomato salsaAs for the chicken, you can grill chicken breast or use dark meat. I love grilling chicken because the meat is always still moist after cooking, even with chicken breast. You don’t want the chicken to sit in the marinade for too long or else the acid from the lime juice will start to “cook” the meat. You can also roast a whole chicken and pair it with the pickled salsa for another option.

This cilantro chicken with tomato avocado salsa reminded me of one of my favorite beef and tomato salad dish that my mom prepares. The chicken is moist but the sure winner of this dish is the salsa. The tomato and avocado salsa is tangy, spicy, and just bursting with flavor. Pair it with a salad to make one healthy meal that you won’t feel guilty about. I had this chicken three days in a row it was so delicious!cilantro chicken with tomato avocado salsa


 Looking for someone to come to your house and prepare these dishes for you? It is possible! If you are in Los Angeles and looking for a private chef, please feel free to contact me. For more information, visit Private Kitchen Los Angeles.


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