Spicy Lemon Chicken on Orange Cranberry Rice with Kicked Up Mango Avocado Salsa


Lara Louise and I didn’t know each other very well, but we were assigned a tent together.  We set it up on a hill with a big blue tarp underneath to keep the wet grass from our sleeping bags.  The tent was beautiful, staked securely at the corners and the door opened to a view of the lake below.  With our bags on the edges of the tent, our candy hidden underneath our sleeping bags and our stuffed animals perched on alert, we were proud of the job we’d done.  After all, at 10 and 11, you hardly need help doing anything.

When it started to rain, we didn’t wake up.  When it kept raining, we kept sleeping.  Two inches of rain ran from the top of the hill down between our tarp and our tent, pooling at the bottom.  We woke with our feet in a small pond and pieces of candy floating and dissolving in the water.  Our life long friendship was formed.

We’re both back in Seattle, older and wiser (I am sure), still debating chicken over steak, the current US political situations and how cute the boy walking down the street is.  Let’s be honest, someone needs to discuss the important things in life.  Sunday night at dinner nothing had changed, except now we cook instead of our moms.

Mangos, avocados and corn are on sale at Safeway again, which gave me the perfect opportunity for a bright and spicy dish.  I kicked up my normal Mango Avocado Salsa, added a fabulous twist to cheap brown rice and grilled a little chicken.  Staying in budget on a fun night never felt so easy.

To finish it off, Lara Louise made Lemon Blueberry Cake!  Need I say more?  Well, I guess I just might.  There were two layers of white cake.  Sandwiched between them was a sweet reduction of blueberries, and the whole thing was held together with a lemon butter cream frosting.  A better dinner?  I think not!

Spicy Lemon Chicken on Orange Cranberry Rice with Kicked Up Mango Avocado Salsa
Serves 4
Spicy Lemon Chicken
2 large chicken breasts (1 lb total)
4 TBS lemon juice
1 tsp salt
2 TBS olive oil
½ habanero, seeded and minced

Add chicken, lemon, salt and olive oil to a zip lock bag.  Shake to coat chicken vigorously.  Allow to marinate at least 45 minutes.

Add habanero to zip lock bag and allow to marinate another 15 minutes.

Grill over medium heat 10-14 minutes each side or until the meat is no longer pink.

Allow to rest for 15 minutes.  Slice meat and serve.

Kicked Up Mango Avocado Salsa

1 ripe mango, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
1 ear corn, grilled and sliced from cob
½ habanero, seeded and minced
2 TBS lemon juice
1 tsp salt

Combine all of the ingredients and fold together gently.

Orange Cranberry Rice
3¾ cups orange juice
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
2 TBS vegetable oil
1½ cups brown rice
½ cup dried cranberries
1 cup walnuts, chopped

Bring orange juice, salt and pepper, and vegetable oil to a boil in a medium size fry pan.  Add rice, reduce to a simmer and cover.  Cook as directed (roughly an hour and 15 minutes).

Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil.  Put cranberries into a shallow dish.  Pour hot water over cranberries and allow to re-hydrate (15-20 minutes).  Drain and reserve.

Mix cranberries and walnuts into rice.

Recipe in print-friendly format


About Mikaela Cowles

I’m a food-gobbling, book-reading, aspiring photog. Born and raised in Seattle, I love dancing in the rain, bouquets of fresh basil and green grass between my toes. I like how kneading butter into flour makes my fingers soft. I’m passionate about all things sweet potato. I prefer my coffee black, my scotch on the rocks and my steak bloody. I hunt, when I have time; play basketball; and hike. I’ve been known to laugh so hard I hyperventilate. And, I’m the owner of Making Language Count, a boutique freelance writing business.

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