Recipe: Chicken tacos with mango salsa

A couple nights ago we had a friend over for dinner. It was his birthday and I wanted to do something fun, but I didn’t have a lot of time to plan ahead so I couldn’t do anything elaborate. I thought about doing shrimp tacos, but ended up making chicken tacos with rice, black beans and other toppings. But what really took the tacos over the top (in my opinion) was the fresh mango salsa.

I had never made mango salsa before, but I really wanted to try it so I did some lookin’ on the Internets to see what’s out there. Turns out there are a variety of ways to make it. With jalepeno or without … with tomatoes or without … etc. I don’t really enjoy eating very spicy food, and my husband doesn’t like tomatoes, so I went for a simple version that had just mango, red onion, cilantro and lime juice.

This picture from learninghowtocook.com looks similar to what I made, except it looks like it has pineapple in it too:

It turned out great and I thought it was delish! It was really quick and easy too. If I were making it again, I would probably let it sit in the fridge for a few minutes to blend the flavors (I kind of threw it together last minute), and I would try some way to take the “edge” off the onions. The salsa was amazing on the tacos with the other ingredients, but when scooped up by itself with some chips it was like “Oh hi, ONIONS!” So next time I might try soaking the onion in water for a while first, which I have heard will make it a bit milder …. or green onions would probably be a great substitute, although the salsa wouldn’t look as pretty without the bits of purple.

Without further ado, here’s the recipe:

1 lb. chicken breasts, with or without bones
1/2 envelope taco seasoning mix
Rice
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained (warmed if desired)
Flour tortillas, warmed
Taco toppings, such as shredded cheese, sour cream, shredded lettuce, etc.

Mango Salsa:
1 ripe mango, peeled and diced
1 to 2 Tbsp finely chopped red onion
2 to 3 Tbsp torn cilantro leaves
Juice of about 1/2 lime

Place the chicken breasts in a large pot of salted water and turn heat to medium. Bring to a simmer and cook until chicken is done.

Meanwhile cook the rice and make the salsa. If you haven’t prepared a mango before, you just peel it and then cut off the soft flesh, avoiding the hard and gritty core in the center of the fruit. Combine diced mango, red onion and cilantro leaves. Squeeze the lime juice over the salsa and set aside for a few minutes to let the flavors blend.

When the chicken is done, drain the water from the pot. Let the chicken cool slightly; then remove bones (if necessary) and shred the chicken with a couple of forks. Add a little more water (1/4 cup or so) to the pot with the taco seasoning and cook, uncovered, over low-medium heat until most of the water has reduced.

Serve the shredded chicken with the warmed tortillas, hot cooked rice, black beans and other toppings, and of course your delicious fresh mango salsa. Enjoy!

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