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Herbed Salsa with Grilled Chicken

July/August 2011

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This fresh tomato salsa, which doubles as a marinade for grilled chicken, is packed with flavor from lots of fresh oregano, chives and cilantro. The salsa would also pair wonderfully with just about any meat, fish or tofu. Serve the chicken and salsa with beans and brown rice or over greens for a colorful salad. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.


Herbed Salsa with Grilled Chicken

Makes: 4 servings

Active Time:

Total Time:

Ingredients

Salsa

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes, divided
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, or to taste
  • 3/4 cup chopped green or red bell pepper (or a combination)
  • 3/4 cup corn kernels, fresh (see Tip) or frozen (thawed), cooked if desired

Chicken

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (8-9 ounces each), trimmed
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

Preparation

  1. To prepare salsa: Place 1 cup tomatoes in a food processor with chives, cilantro (or parsley), oregano, vinegar, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Process until the mixture is coarsely pureed. Add bell pepper and pulse 4 or 5 times to incorporate. Transfer to a nonreactive bowl (see Tip); stir in corn and the remaining 1/2 cup tomatoes. Taste and add more vinegar, salt, pepper and/or hot sauce, if desired.
  2. To prepare chicken: Cut each chicken breast in half on the diagonal to make 4 roughly equal portions. Combine 1/4 cup of the salsa, 2 tablespoons liquid drained from the salsa, 1 1/2 tablespoons oil, chili powder and garlic in a nonreactive medium shallow bowl or sealable gallon-size plastic bag. Add the chicken pieces and stir or shake until well coated. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or up to 1 day. Cover and refrigerate the remaining salsa.
  3. Preheat grill to medium-high or position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the broiler.
  4. Thoroughly shake off the marinade from the chicken pieces and pat dry with paper towels. Brush on both sides with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. (Discard the marinade.) If broiling, place on a well-oiled broiler pan or wire rack set on a large baking sheet. Grill or broil, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165°F, 10 to 14 minutes. Serve the chicken with the reserved salsa.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the salsa for up to 1 day; serve at cool room temperature. Marinate the chicken (Step 2) for up to 1 day.
  • Tips: To remove corn kernels from the cob, stand an ear of corn on one end and slice the kernels off with a sharp knife. One ear will yield about 1/2 cup kernels.
  • A nonreactive bowl, pan or baking dish—stainless-steel, enamel-coated or glass—is necessary when cooking with acidic foods, such as lemon, to prevent the food from reacting with the pan. Reactive pans, such as aluminum and cast-iron, can impart off colors and/or flavors.

Nutrition

Per serving: 176 calories; 7 g fat (1 g sat, 1 g mono); 63 mg cholesterol; 5 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 24 g protein; 2 g fiber; 320 mg sodium; 419 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (58% daily value), Vitamin A (23% dv)

Carbohydrate Servings: 0

Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 3 lean meat


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