Chipotle Chicken Salad with Pico de Gallo

Morita chiles are red, fully mature Chipotles. This gives them a unique, medium – hot smokey flavor which is popular in many Southwestern dishes. These can be added to sauces (including Mole) to add smokey flavor and maintain the red color of the sauces. These peppers are about 2-4 inches in length, 1 inch in width, and have a deep brick reddish brown color. The word Chipotle translated to smoked chile. Consider the Chipotle a 6.5 on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the hottest). Scoville heat units 7,000-25,000.

Suggested Use:
Use Morita in enchilada sauces, chili, stews, barbecue ribs, and corn bread. Their smoky quality combines well with poultry, meats and fall squash.

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Serves: 2 servings


2 Chicken Breasts
1 teaspoon Chipotle Chili Powder
1 Avocado, peeled and pitted
1 Lime, zested and quartered
1 Romaine Heart
1 Red Onion, finely chopped
1 cup Grape Tomatoes, quartered
1 Jalapeño Pepper, ribs and seeds removed, minced
¼ cup Chopped Cilantro
1 teaspoon Cumin
1 teaspoon Oregano
1 15.5 oz. can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons Olive Oil, divided


To make chile powder: grind dried chipotle chile in a coffee or spice grinder till a fine powder.

In a small bowl, combine chipotle chili powder, ½ tablespoon olive oil, lime zest, and large pinch of salt. Rub the mixture onto the chicken breasts, coating well on all sides.

In a large pan, over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Once hot, add ¾ the red onion, and cook until softened, approximately 5 minutes. Add the cumin, oregano, and beans, and cook for another 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and set aside. Wipe the skillet clean.
Add an additional ½ tablespoon olive oil to the now clean skillet. Heat over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 4-5 minutes per side, until cooked through. Remove to a plate, cover with foil, and let rest 5 minutes.


Whisk together the juice from 3 of the lime quarters, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and half the cilantro. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Pico de Gallo:

Toss together the tomatoes, jalapeno, remaining red onion, remaining cilantro, and the juice from the remaining lime quarter. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Chop the romaine heart, thinly slice the avocado, and thinly slice the chicken breasts against the grain.

Assemble the salad by plating the romaine, topping with the sliced chicken, black bean mixture, avocado slices, and pico de gallo. Drizzle with vinaigrette.