Mexican chicken salad with guacamole

Serves 4
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Indy Lifestyle Online

If you want something meaty, tasty but light, then this is the thing. Enjoy the flavours and textures but with no guilt. You could also try it as a small starter or wait until the summer is here and do the chicken on the barbecue.

8 large chicken thighs, boned, skinned and cut in half
1 crisp Cos lettuce, washed, dried and large leaves torn in half
8 whole pickled chillies (guiladillas), rinsed in cold water
4 piquillo peppers, cut into 4
A few sprigs of coriander
Vegetable oil

for the marinade

stalks from the coriander
1 small red chilli
4 cloves of garlic
2tsp tomato purée
1tsp pimenton (smoked Spanish paprika)
4tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed

for the guacamole

3 avocados, peeled and stoned
A pinch of pimenton, as above
juice of 1¿2 lemon
80g sour cream or cream
Salt and pepper

for the dressing

150ml extra-virgin olive oil
15ml balsamic vinegar
25ml sweet chilli sauce
1¿2tsp pimenton

Process all the ingredients for the marinade in a blender, mix well with the chicken and leave for 24 hours in the refrigerator.

To make the guacamole, mash the avocado with a fork or in a food processor and mix it with the pimenton, lemon juice and sour cream. Season with salt and pepper and add a little more lemon juice and pimenton if you like.

Make the dressing by whisking, or using a bottle and shaking, all the ingredients together.

To cook the chicken, drain off any excess marinade, then sauté the pieces in a little vegetable oil in a hot thick-bottomed frying pan for 10-12 minutes to give the chicken a nice colour on both sides. Alternatively you can cook them under a pre-heated hot grill for the same amount of time, turning them after 5 minutes.

Arrange the Cos lettuce on plates with the chicken on top. Arrange the chillies and peppers on top and spoon over the dressing. Serve with a spoonful of guacamole and the coriander leaves. A light dusting of paprika gives a good finish over the guacamole.