Chicken Breasts with Roasted TomatilloAvocado Salsa

Chicken with an Accent

Versatile chicken takes on South-of-the-border flair: Consider these recipe ideas from Chef Richard Sandoval. He partnered with Kokoriko, the successful chain of Colombian restaurants, in developing a menu for the new fast-casual  Kokoriko Natural Rotisserie  in  Miami, specializing in rotisserie chicken. Also, we offer a recipe from Maya in New York City.

Arepa (Corn Cakes) Filled with Chicken Salad
From: Chef Richard Sandoval, Kokoriko Natural Rotisserie, Miami, FL.  Yield: 4 servings.

4 store-bought arepas

Chicken Salad Filling:
1 lb. cooked chicken, cut in
medium cubes
1⁄3 cup chipotle aioli (recipe
2 Tbsp. aji Amarillo aioli
1⁄3 cup celery, diced finely
½ cup seedless grapes, cut in halves
to taste, salt and pepper
1 avocado, thinly sliced

Chipotle Aioli:
1 cup mayonnaise
½ Tbsp. chipotle puree in adobo
1 Tbsp. honey
juice of 1 lime
to taste, salt and pepper

Aji Amarillo Aioli:
1 cup mayonnaise
½ cup sugar
2 Tbsp. of white distilled vinegar
2 Tbsp. aji amarillo paste
Salt & Pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 350º F. Slide a butter knife in between each arepa to create a pocket. Repeat until all the arepas have pockets. Place the arepas on a foil-lined baking sheet with enough room between them so they are not touching. Then, place the baking sheet in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes to thoroughly heat the arepas.

For chicken salad filling: In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except the avocado.
For chipotle aioli: In a food processor, combine all the ingredients until smooth. Set aside.
Fo aji amarillo aioli: In a food processor, combine all the ingredients until smooth. Set aside.
To plate: In a large bowl combine chipotle aioli and aji amarillo aioli with chicken salad. Stuff each arepa pocket with a good amount of the mixture; top with avocado slices.


Chicken Breasts with Roasted Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa

Adapted from a recipe by Chef Richard Sandoval, Maya, New York City. Yield: 12 servings.

3 lb. tomatillos, peeled, cored
1 lb. onions, quartered
7 oz. (about 6 whole)
jalapeño peppers, seeded
½ oz. chopped fresh cilantro
as needed, olive or
vegetable oil
as needed, salt
as needed, ground black pepper
1½ lb. tomatoes, ¼” dice
8 oz. onion, finely chopped
2 cups chicken broth
8 oz. fideos (dried angel hair pasta)
12 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
(5-6 oz. each)
4 oz. Gouda cheese, coarsely shredded
1 lb. ripe Mexican avocados, pitted, peeled and diced

Preheat oven to 450°F. In roasting pan, combine tomatillos, onion quarters and jalapeños; lightly coat with oil. Roast until tomatillos are browned and vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes.

Drain tomatillo mixture. Reserve juices; transfer to food processor container and process, adding reserved liquid as necessary, to make slightly chunky sauce. Add cilantro, 3 Tbsp. oil, 1 Tbsp. salt and 1⁄4 tsp. black pepper; process until blended. Set aside.

Break fideos into large pieces (do not take nests apart). Over medium-high heat, heat enough oil to  cover bottom of large ovenproof skillet. Saute fideos just until golden, about 1 minute. To skillet, add tomatoes, onion, 1 Tbsp. salt, 1 tsp. black pepper and chicken broth; toss well. Cover skillet tightly; bake until pasta is tender, 12 to 1 5 minutes.

Season chicken breasts with salt and black pepper. In skillet over medium-high heat, heat enough oil to cover the bottom. Add chicken; cook, turning once until cooked through, about 7 minutes. Cut in thick slices.

To serve: Heat reserved tomatillo mixture until warm; stir in 1⁄3 of diced avocado. Stir cheese into hot fideos. In center of 12 dinner plates, mound fideos, dividing equally. Fan chicken breast slices around fideos. Spoon salsa around chicken; scatter remaining diced avocado over salsa.