Honey Mango Chicken with Baby Spinach

Tonight’s dinner was a collaborative effort between my mother and myself. I just finished eating, and boy am I happy! I’m not much of a fruit eater, though I love the flavor of mango in salsas and glazes. I’ll never forget going to town on the mango chutney BBQ sauce at Voodoo BBQ in New Orleans, and I wanted to create something along those lines. We had a honey mango that we bought on impulse last week, and it was just at the point of going bad. We decided to purée that mango and use it as a wet rub for boneless, skinless chicken breast.

4 chicken breasts
1 honey mango, roughly chopped
8-10 cloves roasted garlic
1 onion, wedged
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup garlic oil or olive oil)
1 lemon, juice & zest
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tbsp dried oregano
2 tsp ground turmeric
kosher salt
black pepper
green onions as garnish
*red pepper?

In a bowl, I puréed the honey mango and the roasted garlic cloves. I did this simply by squishing them to bits with a fork. Add the soy sauce, garlic oil, and spices. Stir until thoroughly mixed. The consistency should be like thin oatmeal.

We laid each chicken breast face-down on its own piece of aluminum foil big enough to be folded into a pouch for cooking. Rub some of the mango purée onto the chicken, flip it, and rub more purée on the pretty side. Top with onion, and fold the foil over to close the pouch. (For future consideration, I’d like to add some strips of red bell pepper on top of each chicken breast.)

Put all the pouches together on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 45-50 minutes. To serve, put baby spinach greens on a plate. Top with chicken breast & onion, add a few diced green onions, and drizzle remaining juices over the top. The greens will wilt a little under the chicken, which is exactly what you want.

As an alternative, you could collect the juices from each pouch, combine them, and reduce with a little balsamic vinegar to make a glaze which you can drizzle over the chicken & greens. I didn’t do that tonight because I wanted the mango to remain the primary flavor, and I didn’t have enough mango to use separately in the sauce.

I didn’t notice much difference between this honey mango and other mangoes I’ve used. You can certainly use a normal mango, and it wouldn’t be a bad idea to include a teaspoon of honey in the purée and in the glaze, if you go that route. Another option would be to use 1/4 cup of orange juice to bring out the fruit flavor.