Zarela's Ensalada Girasol-MainPhoto

Zarela's Ensalada Girasol-MainPhoto

This beautiful and tasty salad combines the great flavors of boiled chicken, smoky chipotle, and sweet mango.  It’s also wonderfully adaptable – as I’m sure you’ll discover (see note below).  For a nonmeat version, use your favorite leafy greens and toss them with the vinaigrette-marinated mango and/or jicama.  Garlic and chipotles (chiles) are the Latin powerfoods in this recipe, and chicken is in the powerfoods categories.

Read Related:  Creamy Chipotle Potato Salad

½ cup (or to taste) Pasta de Chipotle (recipes follows)
2 large whole boneless free-range chicken breasts with skin
2 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, or as needed
1 large mango (about 1 pound), peeled, seeded, and thinly sliced
2 cups Chipotle Vinaigrette recipe (recipe follows)


First prepare the Pasta de Chipotle.

  1. Then preheat the oven broiler.  Brush a little oil over the chipotle paste.  Place on broiler pan and broil, skin side up, until skin starts to brown, about 4 minutes.  
  2. Turn and broil for another 4 minutes.  Turn off the broiler, reduce the oven heat to 400 F and bake the chicken until cooked through, about 10 minutes longer.  
  3. Let rest for 10 minutes for the juices to settle.  Remove the skin, and slice on the bias.
  4. Toss the sliced mango in the Chipotle Vinaigrette (see following recipe).  
  5. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, lift out, letting the dressing drain back into the bowl.  
  6. Arrange mango slices around 4 serving plates, sunflower fashion.  
  7. Toss the sliced chicken breasts in the remaining vinaigrette and pile in the center of the serving plates.

Note: Chef Zarela Marinez says that you can also include jicama.  Just peel and cut it into a fine julienne or dice.  Then, after slicing chicken, toss jicama in the Chipotle Vinaigrette and lift it out with a slotted spoon, letting the dressing drain back into the bowl.  Arrange jicama in center of serving plates.  Continue with recipe, arranging sliced chicken on top of the jicama.

VINAGRETA DE CHIPOTLE (Chipotle Vinaigrette)

This is a good dressing to experiement with.  It would be great with a grilled duck salad or any green salad.

½ c red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano (available in Latin markets, large supermarkets or online)
3 canned chipotle chiles en adobo (available in Latin markets, large supermarkets or online)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ cup olive oil


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, garlic, oregano, chipotle chiles, salt and pepper.
  2. Add olive oil a little at a time, whisking well after each addition.

PASTA DE CHIPOTLE (Chipotle Paste)

One 8 oz can chipotle chiles en adobo
4 to 5 garlic cloves, minced (about a tablespoon)
1 tablespoon dried Mexican oregano
2 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Empty the 8 ounce can of chipoteles and their sauce into a blender of food processor fittled with a steel blade.
  2. Process until pureed, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the garlic, oregano, and olive oil and process on pulse until combined but still slightly chunky.
  4. Use immediately, or store, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.