As part of my life's work to eradicate it from the face of the earth, I'm forever in search of salads with no mayonnaise. Egg salad, macaroni salad, potato salad - all too often, their otherwise delicious ingredients are drenched in Hellmann's, rendering them fairly unhealthy, somewhat unattractive, and to me at least, completely revolting.
That's why, when I find a recipe like Mrs. Micah's Avocado Chicken Salad, I'm quick to jump on it, lest the computer gods steal it away like so many accidentally unsaved grad school papers. I made the dish (note: with some changes) the day I first saw it (note: yesterday), and have been high on it ever since (note: 17 hours as of noon).
Aside from its bright, guacamole-tinged flavor, the salad is wonderfully moist without being heavy. It derives much of that from avocado, tomato, and pan-cooked chicken thighs, which add juiciness and only a little fat. A touch of cilantro and lime seal the deal, leaving you with a smile on your face, a spring in your step, and a stellar, mayo-less chicken salad recipe in your repertoire.
A word about chicken thighs: while chicken breast is the fallback poultry of perpetually dieting cooks everywhere (self included), boneless, skinless chicken thighs are only a tad fattier and much, much tastier. If you can find them on sale, stock up and freeze for future use.
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, filleted
- Kosher salt and fresh black pepper
- 1 Hass avocado, chopped
- 1 large beefsteak or slicing tomato, seeded and chopped
- 1/2 bunch scallions, chopped
- 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
- 1 lime
Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high. While oil is heating, salt and pepper both sides of the chicken. Add chicken to pan and sear 4 or 5 minutes per side, until browned and just cooked through. Remove chicken from pan and let sit for 10 minutes.
While chicken is cooling, combine avocado, tomato, scallions, and cilantro in a bowl. Then cut the lime into approximate halves, with one slightly bigger than the other. Squeeze larger half over ingredients in bowl. Stir to combine.
Once fairly cooled, chop chicken into 1/2-inch chunks. Squeeze remaining lime over chunks and add to avocado mixture. Stir until combined. (Avocado should cover everything, but shouldn’t itself be annihilated.) Salt and pepper to taste.