California Avocado season has ended.

Cilantro Chicken with California Avocado and Pickled Tomato Salsa

Total time:

29 min

Prep time:

4 min

Cook time:

25 min

Nutritional Highlights (Per serving) See Full
640 Calories
36.5 g Fat
4.75 g Fiber
243 mg Sodium
Cilantro Chicken with California Avocado and Pickled Tomato Salsa


Recipe created by chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger for the California Avocado Commission.


Serves: 4

4 (6 oz.) boneless chicken thighs or breasts, with skin
As needed Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
4 scallions, trimmed
As needed Pickled Tomato Salsa (see make-ahead recipe below)
2 ripe Fresh California Avocados, peeled, seeded and cut in 1/2-inch dice
2 cups cooked brown basmati rice
As needed Pickled Tomato Salsa
1 lb. tomatoes, peeled, seeded and cut in quarters
1/2 bunch scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
2 Serrano chiles, with seeds, thinly sliced in rounds
1/2 cup white vinegar
2 1/2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. salt
4 tsp. freshly grated ginger
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. yellow mustard seeds
2 tsp. cracked black peppercorns
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. cayenne
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 cup Extra virgin olive oil

As with all fruits and vegetables, wash avocados before cutting.
Check out our tips for how to choose and use California Avocados.


  1. In a shallow, non-reactive dish, season chicken on all sides with salt and pepper. Combine olive oil, lime juice, cilantro and cumin in a small bowl. Brush mixture on scallions and pour remainder over chicken, tossing to evenly coat. Allow to marinate at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes.
  2. Preheat broiler or grill. Beginning with skin side toward the heat source, broil or grill chicken until just cooked through, about 12 minutes per side for thighs and about 9 minutes per side for breasts. Grill or broil scallions about 2 minutes per side.
  3. Toss Pickled Tomato Salsa with diced avocados and reserve until chicken is cooked.
  4. To serve, arrange grilled chicken over a bed of basmati rice. Mound avocado salsa mixture on top of chicken. Garnish with grilled scallions. Serve immediately.

Pickled Tomato Salsa

  1. In a large bowl, toss tomatoes with scallions and chiles.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring vinegar to a boil. Add brown sugar and salt, and cook until dissolved, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and reserve.
  3. Measure ginger, garlic, mustard seeds, cracked peppercorns, cumin, cayenne and turmeric onto a plate and place near stove. In another medium saucepan, heat oil over moderate heat until just smoking. Add spices and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until aromas are released, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vinegar mixture. Immediately pour over reserved tomato mixture. Stir to combine, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 3 to 4 hours or several days.
  4. Before serving, remove tomatoes from juices, roughly chop, and return to pickling liquid.

    Note: To peel tomatoes, remove the cores and score an X on the underside. Blanch for 15 seconds in boiling water and immediately plunge into iced water to prevent continued cooking. Peel with a paring knife.

Pickled Tomato Salsa may be made up to 3 days in advance and reserved until ready to use.

*Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.

Nutrition information per serving

Calories 640
Total Fat 36.5 g (Sat 6.3 g, Poly 5 g, Mono 22 g)
Cholesterol 119 mg
Sodium 243 mg
Dietary Fiber 4.75 g

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 Calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

About the author

Chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, Border Grill in Los Angeles, CA


(11 Ratings)