When I make this dish, I feel like I am mentally preparing myself for spring. For some reason I equate grilled meats and fruits to spring and summer time. There’s no place I’d rather be than sipping a cocktail standing over a hot grill with snow just being a distant memory. Sadly, it is still super cold in Connecticut and no where near the warm weather I long for. However, I am lucky enough to have an indoor grill at my house that I thought I would put to good use and have my fantasy come true. You could say I am living in major denial by preparing myself for spring when its still 30 degrees out every day but to each their own, right?
Like with most dishes I make, this recipe is super easy and takes very little prep time. The most time-consuming part of this recipe is marinating the chicken overnight, which in that time there’s nothing else you need to be doing for the recipe, so it doesn’t exactly count as prep work.
The marinade comes together quickly with all the ingredients being added to a food processor and blended up. The chipotles add their signature smoky, hot note while the honey cuts through that heat and adds a little sweetness to create the perfect balance. The honey also helps to caramelize the marinade onto the chicken while it’s on the grill to add a sticky, crispy coating.
This marinade also calls for adobo sauce. Adobo is the sauce that the chipotles are canned in, used to preserve and enhance the chipotles flavor. A tbsp is required for this recipe and there will be some left over. However, if you would prefer a spicier marinade you can add more than a tbsp.
Mango salsa acts as a bright, fresh accent to the smoky grilled chicken. It cuts through the heat with crisp, tangy cubes of mango and sharp pieces of red onion dotted throughout the salsa. These two just belong together, they complement each other so well and help to enhance the flavors of each other.
Note: I love to serve this dish with some jasmine rice that I add lime and chopped cilantro to. It provides a complete meal that perfectly complements the chicken and mango salsa. Here’s how I make it:
Cilantro Lime Rice:
- 2 Cups Jasmine Rice
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 Lime zested and juiced
- 1 Tbsp Chopped Cilantro
Honey Chipotle Chicken with Mango Salsa
Honey Chipotle Chicken:
- 1.5 1bs. Skinless Chicken Breasts (I used 2 large breasts and cut them in ½ to get 4 breasts total)
- ½ Cup Olive Oil
- 2 Chipotles + 1 Tbsp Adobo
- 1 Lime, juiced
- 2 Tbsp Honey
- 1 Garlic Clove
- 1 Tsp Salt
- ½ Tsp Pepper
- 2 Cups Mango, diced
- 1 Tbsp Jalapeno, minced
- 2 Tbsp Lime Juice
- 1 Lime Zested
- 2 Tbsp Red Onion, chopped
- ¼ Cup Cilantro, chopped
- ½ Tsp Salt
To make the marinade, add the olive oil, chipotles, adobo, lime juice, honey, garlic, salt & pepper to a food processor. Blend all of the ingredients together until the chipotles and garlic are broken down and the sauce is smooth.
Next pour the marinade over the chicken breasts in an airtight container. Make sure all sides of the chicken are coated then cover the container and place in the fridge for 8 hours or overnight. The longer it sits the more that marinade will permeate the chicken breasts.
While the chicken is marinating make the salsa.
To cut a mango, cut vertically ¼ inch away from the midline down each side. Mangos have a long, flat seed in their center so you have to trim around it. Once you’ve cut both sides cut into the flesh using a grid like pattern without cutting through the skin. With a spoon scoop out the flesh which should look like cubes.
Measure 2 cups of cubed mango and add it to a medium size mixing bowl. Next, finally mince half of a jalapeno until you have a tbsp’s worth and add it to the mango. Then, zest one whole lime over the bowl so the zest falls onto the mango and jalapeno. Add the lime juice, red onion, cilantro and salt. Mix everything together and cover. The salsa can be made the day off or the day before.
Once the chicken has marinated overnight heat a grill to med-high heat and spray grill gates with cooking spray. Cook the chicken for 12 minutes, flipping half-way or until it has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Lastly, all there is to do is plate up the chicken, salsa, and rice and enjoy!