I stole this tomato salsa recipe from the Dr.’s mother after she left a jar of it in his fridge during her visit from California. I’ve never had salsa with apple before but I thought the tartiness lent to the blandness of the tomatoes and the kick of the cilantro.
But because there’s never tortilla chips at home, I prepared it as a side salad for a main dish. I made it to our neighborhood grocery store after its Sunday shopping peak when most of the produce shelves have already been ravaged. No oxtails, no short ribs, no pork chops; I was forced to buy some chicken thighs instead. I stuffed them with cilantro so that there’s an element of surprise when you bite into them–also to use the cilantro leftover from the salsa. Whether or not you have avocados, you’ll have a complete meal especially if you serve it with rice.
8 boneless chicken thighs
half a bunch of cilantro, finely chopped
1 tbsp cumin, grounded
2 ripe avocados
oil, salt, pepper
For the salsa:
4 beefsteak tomatoes, chopped
1 red onion, finely chopped
the other half of the cilantro, finely chopped
1 gala apple, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
1. Prepare the salsa. Combine and mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. Season with salt. Transfer to a pickling jar and refrigerate until ready to use.
2. Preheat the oven 350º. Prepare the chicken. Combine and mix the cilantro and cumin in a small bowl. Drizzle with some olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Lay out the chicken pieces and stuff with cilantro-cumin mix. Each chicken only needs a tbsp or so of stuffing.
3. Using a large skillet, heat some oil. Brown both side of the chicken pieces. Use an iron press if you have one to keep the stuffing inside the chicken while frying. Gently turn over to brown the other side using tongs. Transfer to a baking dish and bake in the oven for about 10 minutes.
4. To serve, arrange the baked chicken over a bed of rice. Scoop some of the avocado meat on the side and top with tomato salsa.