Layered Mango Chicken Salad

Sunday, May 19, 2019




This post is in partnership with Pyrex. The content and opinions are all mine.

Warmer weather is finally on the horizon, which presents all kinds of opportunities for entertaining! I’m always on the hunt for new recipes that are fresh, healthy, and seasonally appropriate for summer gatherings. I love the look of seven-layer salads, so I put my own spin on the concept and came up with a stacked salad bursting with sweet mango, tender shredded chicken, lots of crunchy colorful veggies, and bright Caribbean flavors.

Feeding a crowd calls for a dish big enough to hold all that food, so I was thrilled to learn that Pyrex added deeper baking dishes to their latest collection, Pyrex Deep. In fact, they’re the deepest glass baking dishes sold in the U.S. and hold up to 50% more than your current glass bakeware! That’s room for a lot of salad, so I was able to pack in layer upon layer of goodness. The new Pyrex Deep was so roomy, I even roasted the whole chicken for my salad in it! It’s truly a versatile dish to add to your kitchen.



My layered mango chicken salad is best served chilled. There are two ways I’d suggest making it ahead of time, depending on what works best for your schedule and room in the fridge.
  • For option one, make the vinaigrette then prep and refrigerate all the layered components separately for up to a day ahead of time (do not cut the avocados). Assemble just before serving.
  • For option two, assemble all but the final layer of arugula and avocado, then cover and refrigerate the salad for up to a few hours. Add the arugula and sliced avocado just before serving. 
I did have leftovers the next day which held up really well, so I just added more fresh avocado to my serving at that time. A few notes about the ingredients are below before moving on to the recipe:
  • For the vinaigrette, use a coconut oil specifically labeled “liquid” so that it doesn’t return to a solid state once chilled. I did like the mild coconut flavor it added to the vinaigrette, but if you have trouble finding the right oil just substitute a neutral cooking oil like grape seed or safflower.
  • You can save yourself some time by shredding a store-bought rotisserie chicken instead of cooking chicken at home.
  • I used flavors reminiscent of jerk sauce for the vinaigrette, so the best heat for that will come from scotch bonnet peppers. If you have access to fresh peppers, as little as a half scotch bonnet will lend enough heat without overpowering the salad. Habanero peppers also work for that flavor profile. I keep scotch bonnet pepper sauce or Caribbean hot sauces on hand, which is way more convenient since you’ll only need a dash of heat for the vinaigrette.

Layered Mango Chicken Salad 

Ingredients

For the chicken:
5 lbs whole chicken*
5 tsp Kosher salt*
2 tbsp coconut oil or neutral cooking oil*

*Or substitute with 1 whole cooked rotisserie chicken, to yield 4 cups shredded chicken

For the vinaigrette: 
Juice of 3 limes, plus zest
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
6 scallions (approximately ½ bunch), sliced
½ tsp ground allspice
½ tsp black pepper
1” knob ginger, peeled and chopped
Dash of Scotch bonnet pepper sauce or similar Caribbean hot sauce, more to taste
2 tbsp honey
¾ cup liquid coconut oil
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
Kosher salt, to taste 

For the salad:
½ head red cabbage
Kosher salt, as needed
4 carrots
2 red bell peppers
4 ripe (but firm) mangos
3 cups baby arugula
½ cup fresh cilantro or mint leaves, or a combination
3 avocados
6 scallions (approximately ½ bunch), sliced 


Active Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours
Yield: Serves 10
Special Equipment: Pyrex® 9” x 13” x 3" Deep Baking Dish, probe thermometer or instant-read meat thermometer, zester or grater, upright or immersion blender



Recipe Instructions:
If you're cooking a chicken to use for the salad, start with those instructions here. Otherwise, just have some cooked shredded chicken on hand and start with the vinaigrette, which follows!

Preheat your oven to 400°F. Set the chicken inside your Pyrex Deep Baking Dish, breast side up. (Make sure to remove the giblets and neck if stored inside the cavity.) Season inside the cavity and all over the surface of the chicken with salt, then drizzle with oil. Pour 1/3 cup water into the bottom of the baking dish.* If using a probe thermometer, insert it into the thickest part of the breast, being careful not to hit bone. If using a handheld instant read thermometer, you’ll need to periodically monitor the temp manually. 


Cook the chicken until the breasts reach 155°F internally and thighs hit at least 170°F, which should take about an hour. (The chicken will continue to cook after leaving the oven, so you don’t want to dry the breast meat out beyond 165°F.) Carefully remove the Pyrex Deep Baking Dish from the oven and allow the chicken to cool completely. Once cool, shred the meat and set aside. Freeze the skin and bones for your next batch of chicken stock! Wipe the baking dish clean prior to assembling your salad.

*Note: Before cooking items that may release liquid (including fat, food juices, or moisture from frozen foods) in your Pyrex® glassware, add a small amount of liquid to cover the bottom of the dish before you put it in the oven. This serves to minimize any potential sudden temperature change that may occur as the food releases liquid. Once a Pyrex® dish is already hot, do not add liquid to it (for example, by basting with liquid not already in the dish). Adding liquid to hot glass may compromise the product’s strength, potentially resulting in breakage.


While the chicken cooks, you can prepare the vinaigrette and the components for layering the salad.

For the vinaigrette, combine all ingredients in your blender, or inside a container that fits your immersion blender. Blend on high speed until fully emulsified and no pieces of ginger or scallion remain. Season with salt to taste, and adjust the sweetness and/or heat intensity as desired. You should have about two cups of dressing.

The vinaigrette can be made up to a couple days in advance, so just transfer to a sealed container and refrigerate until needed. If the oil separates from the vinegar, shake it vigorously before drizzling on the salad. 



The first layer of the salad will be some crunchy red cabbage. Use your knife to shave it as finely as you can. Season to taste with a little salt, which is easiest to do by just tossing the cabbage gently around on your cutting board. Fill up the bottom of your Pyrex Deep Baking Dish with shredded cabbage, then drizzle evenly with a third of the dressing. 



For the next layer, grab those carrots. Grated carrots can add a lot of liquid to salads, so a trick I’ve learned is to use my vegetable peeler to shave thin strips of carrots instead. I also think it looks prettier. Do what works for you though! You could certainly run the cabbage and carrots through a food processor if you have a shredding disk. Whatever method you use, just season the carrots gently with salt before layering. 



Next up is the bell peppers, which just need to be diced. Season them with a pinch of salt as well, then layer on top of the carrots. 


You’ll need to have your chicken prepped for the next step. After shredding, check it for seasoning, adding a pinch of salt only if needed. Layer the chicken on top of the peppers. Drizzle with another third of the vinaigrette.


It’s amazing how much you can fit in the Pyrex Deep Dish isn’t it? We’ve still got room to add more! Peel and dice up all that fresh mango, then layer it over the chicken.

Just before serving, toss together your arugula and herbs. I loved the combo of mint and cilantro, but you can use one or the other depending on your taste preferences. Season with a pinch of salt before piling on top of the mango. Then arrange sliced avocado over the top. Top with scallions. Drizzle the salad with the remaining third of the vinaigrette. 


Isn’t it beautiful? I loved the rainbow of colors here, and it was a dish I could feel great about serving to my family. They all went back for seconds! With Pyrex Deep baking dishes, there’s even more ways to “Stack It. Pack It. Stuff It. Love It.” You can learn more at www.pyrexhome.com, and find them for purchase today at your local Walmart.


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