Healthy grilled chicken breast topped with fresh avocado salsa makes this dish a delicious low-carb dinner in less than 30 minutes! One that is flavourful citrus marinade made with freshly squeezed orange and lime juice, cumin and oregano. The avocado salsa is a chunky version of guacamole with a little extra heat from fresh red chili. Together this grilled chicken recipe makes a tasty low-carb, high protein lunch or dinner option that is easy to make.
Preparing the chicken
When cooking chicken breasts, even thickness is important. Nobody wants a piece of chicken that is undercooked in the middle and dry on the sides. This is where butterflying (slice the chicken breasts horizontally so you have two thin chicken cutlets) or pounding down the breasts until they are flat comes into play. When the chicken is the same thickness, it’s easier to cook.
How to butterfly a chicken breast
1. Lay the boneless, skinless chicken breast half on a cutting board, with the smooth side down, and cut away the small fillet (tenderloin).
2. Turn the breast over and slice the breast in half widthwise (like you would a hamburger or hotdog bun) being careful not to cut through to the other side.
3. Open the breast along the fold (like you would a book) and flatten into the butterfly shape. Place the chicken between a layer of plastic wrap or parchment paper and with a meat pounder further flatten so that it is an even thickness. Voila – it’s that easy!
Marinading the chicken
The beauty of this recipe is that you can marinade the chicken ahead of time, and then just throw it on the grill (in this case my LeMax indoor glass ceramic grill), or prepare it a cast iron grill pan on the stove. Both methods are super easy and quick! As for the marinading, I recommend 2-3 hours, but if you are pressed for time you could shorten the marinade time to 30 minutes. If you are planning ahead, up to 12 hours is also fine!
Grilling the perfect chicken breast
Thin, evenly thick chicken breasts will reduce the overall cooking time and help them cook more evenly. Basic rule of thumb is 3-5 minutes per side on medium to high heat, but naturally the time will vary depending on the thickness of the breasts. Note, that the chicken will continue to cook slightly even after removed from the grill, so every minutes counts when it comes to ensuring a juicy grilled chicken breast.
What to serve alongside this grilled chicken breast with avocado salsa recipe
You could easily round out this dish with a mixed green salad, a classic potato salad, grilled asparagus, or try a black bean and mango salad — it’s a great addition to this recipe, which already has Latin American flair.
Looking for other chicken recipe inspiration?
Give one of these delicious recipes a try:
- Yakitori Chicken (Japanese Grilled Chicken Skewers)
- Easy Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk (Mild)
- Cajun-Style Chicken Pasta with Crème Fraîche
- Coconut Chicken with Tomatoes & Spinach
- Simple Chicken Potato Soup
Grilled Chicken Breast with Avocado Salsa
For the chicken:
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut butterfly style and lightly pounded to even thickness (250-300g each)
- Heat resistant oil, for grilling
For the marinade:
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 lime, freshly juiced (about 30 ml)
- 1 orange, freshly juiced (about 60 ml)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the avocado salsa:
- 1 ripe but firm avocado, diced
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 1 red chili pepper, seeded and deveined, finely diced
- 1 lime, freshly juiced
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- Sea salt, to taste
- Extra wedges of lime
Place the butterflied chicken breast in a shallow baking dish. Add the marinade ingredients, and toss to make sure it coats the chicken evenly all over. Cover the dish with plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes; flipping it once halfway through. If time allows, marinade for 2-3 hours, or up to 12 hours in advance for deeper flavours.
Before grilling the chicken, prepare the salsa. In a medium bowl, combine the avocado, red onion, chili, lime juice, oil, cilantro, salt and pepper. Toss gently to combine.
Heat the grill, grill plate or cast-iron grill pan over medium-high heat (for the LeMax level 9). Once hot, lightly coat with a drizzle of oil.
Grill the chicken breast for 3-5 minutes on each side, until golden-brown and fully cooked (time will vary depending on thickness of the pieces; for 2cm thickness, plan about 5-6 minutes per side. Thinner cutlets cook in about 3 minutes per side).
NOTE: If using a grill pan and working in batches, transfer cooked chicken to a platter and cover with tinfoil or place in a low heated oven to keep warm. Continue grilling the remaining chicken, adding more oil if the pan gets too dry.
Remove the chicken from the grill, and serve immediate topped with avocado salsa on the top, an extra wedge of lime for squeezing on top and your choice of side dishes. Enjoy!
- I add the marinate ingredients directly to the dish with the chicken breasts, but if preferred you can mix the marinade ingredients together in a bowl first, before adding to the chicken.
- When buying boneless, skinless chiken breast halves, some will still have the small inner tenderloin attached, this should be removed before butterflying the boneless chicken breast. It can be also marinated and then grilled alongside the breasts.
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