Chicken and Turkey

Grilled or Baked Avocado Fiesta Chicken

Juicy marinated chicken topped with spicy pepper jack cheese and cool avocado makes for a healthy yet flavorful dish perfect any time of year.

 

Whether you decide to bake or grill this chicken, I assure you it comes out so juicy and packed with just the right amount of heat. The spice combo for the marinade has become my go-to flavor booster for chicken as well as eggs (and hopefully soon, shrimp or white fish). Instead of making just enough of the spice for this recipe, I highly recommend doubling or tripling the batch and storing it along with your other spices – you won’t be sorry!

This recipe, except for the marinade, is another basic dinner Bry and I would grill during college. While we kept it simpler back then with just a drizzle of olive oil and pinch of salt and pepper on the chicken, the combo of grilled (or baked) chicken with melted pepper jack cheese and fresh avocado is so satisfying. While I’m sure there were times where we only made the chicken, it goes great with a side of grilled or roasted vegetables for a low-carb summer time meal.

However, if you aren’t concerned about trying to lower your cab intake, I HIGHLY recommend making this into a grilled chicken sandwich (on sourdough bread of course ;)). To do so, instead of adding the cheese on top of the chicken, place the cheese on a slice of sourdough bread (be sure to lightly cover the other side of the bread with olive oil, butter, or mayo so it doesn’t stick to your pan or grill) and cook like you would a grilled cheese. Once the chicken is cooked, simply place it on top of the melted cheese, add sliced avocado, and top with additional slice of grilled/toasted bread.

While I’m getting excited to do more grilling with the weather finally warming up, I’ve also been working on perfecting my cast-iron skillet chicken cooking skills. And I think I have it down! The key is to heat your skillet on high until it is very hot and almost smoking (if you have a hood fan I recommend turning it on or opening a window just in case). Once it’s smokin’ hot, add in the marinated chicken (along with the excess marinade) and sear each side, about 1 minute per side. Immediately transfer skillet into a preheated 350F oven and cook for 10 minutes. Let the chicken rest for a couple minutes then bite into your juicy piece of chicken.

Starting to work on spring cleaning? Be sure to check back on Friday for some tips to spring clean your diet and fridge for this month’s Recipe Redux Challenge!

So here’s a toast to getting a little toasty this spring!

Grilled or Baked Avocado Fiesta Chicken

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb chicken breasts, cut thin
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • 1 avocado, peeled and sliced
  • 2-4 slices pepper jack cheese, depending on how cheesy you like it
  • Optional: bread to make into a grilled sandwich

Instructions

1

Combine olive oil, vinegar, salt, paprika, cumin, thyme, and onion powder in a Ziploc bag or Tupperware container. Place thinly cut chicken breasts in container with marinade and toss well to coat each breast. Allow chicken to marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.

2

Cooking in a cast-iron skillet: Preheat oven to 350F. Meanwhile, place skillet on stove and heat on high. Once smoking, add chicken breasts. Cook 1 minute on each side, or until lightly browned. Transfer skillet to the preheated oven and cook 10 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove pan from oven and immediately top each breast with slice of cheese. Plate each breast and top with avocado slices. Enjoy!

3

Cooking on the grill: heat grill on medium-high heat. Place chicken on grill and cook about 5 minutes/side or until cooked through. Before removing from grill, place 1 slice of cheese over chicken and allow to cook another minute until cheese is starting to melt. Remove chicken from grill and top with sliced avocado.

Notes

These also make for a great grilled chicken sandwich, simply place between two slices of grilled or toasted bread. See instructions in post.

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