Smoky, spicy fried chicken topped with a crunchy bite of lettuce and the bright tingle of lime juice: the contrast in this salad is what really makes it delicious. It’s got more than a hint of the Southwest to it, with a bold flavor from cumin and paprika, and a new tomato ingredient you might not have worked with before: passata.
Tomato passata is a type of tomato concentrate. It’s not quite the same thing as tomato paste because it isn’t cooked: it’s basically what you get if you crush up raw tomatoes and then strain out all the water, leaving just the solid part of the tomatoes left. Unlike tomato paste, passata is thin enough to pour out of a bottle.
Passata is very common in Italy – and anywhere with a large Italian population – and in most grocery stores, you can find it in the same aisle as the canned tomato products, usually off to the side somewhere. If you can’t find any, you can easily make your own by crushing tomatoes in a food processor and then straining them through a sieve to remove the water.
Don’t be thrown off by the one new ingredient, though: even if you don’t have time to find or make your own, you can just substitute with a little bit of tomato paste. It’s not exactly the same, but it’s close. And a meal this tasty is definitely worth the effort: whatever kind of tomato product you pick, you’ll wind up with a special and very flavorful salad.
Chicken with Lime and Avocado Salad Recipe
Ingredients for the chicken
- 6 chicken thigh fillets, cut into pieces;
- 1 onion, sliced thinly;
- 2 tsp. ground cumin;
- 2 tsp. ground coriander;
- 2 tsp. smoked paprika;
- ¼ cup tomato passata;
- Cooking fat;
- Lime wedges to serve;
Ingredients for the salad
- 1 ripe avocado, cut into cubes;
- 2 ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped;
- ½ red onion, chopped;
- 1 tbsp. jalapeño chilli, minced;
- 1 tbsp. lime juice;
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro;
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil;
- 1 head romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces;
- Add some cooking fat to a large skillet that’s placed over a medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring frequently, until the meat is browned and cooked through.
- Add the onion, passata, cumin, coriander, and paprika. Keep stirring while you cook everything for another 2-3 minutes or until the onions are soft and tender.
- In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the salad and give everything a good stir.
- Divide the cooked chicken among plates and top with the salad.
- Serve with some lime wedges.