Molasses Dipped Chicken with Mango Salsa is the star in this flavor-packed show. Chicken dipped in molasses and buttermilk, dredged in spiced-up flour, seared and baked. Then, it is topped off with sweet and spicy Mango Salsa. The two main actors, chicken and salsa, are quite wonderful by themselves, but for this recipe, place them together and let their characters develop.
Every time I hear the word “salsa” I am reminded of the “The Pitch” episode of Seinfeld.
If you don’t remember, here is a short excerpt from Jerry and George’s conversation at the diner table:
“George: Why don’t they have salsa on the table? Jerry: What do you need salsa for? George: Salsa is now the number one condiment in America. Jerry: You know why? Because people like to say “salsa.” “Excuse me, do you have any salsa?” We need more salsa.” “Where’s the salsa? No salsa?” Click here to hear Jerry & George’s conversation at Monk’s Diner.
Seinfeld didn’t become one of the highest rated television shows of all time because each character was great; it was due to unrivaled character development and interaction.
It is the same with Molasses-Dipped Chicken with Mango Salsa.
This dish has it all. The chicken reminds me of Jerry, the main character in Seinfeld, the molasses is his best buddy George, and the salsa is a combination of his best girlfriend Elaine and his kooky neighbor Kramer. All the ingredients are interesting on their own, but when cast together in this show, just like with Seinfeld, they blossom, they spark, they make history.
Place a big helping of this delicious combo on your plate and sit yourself in front of the TV. I’m sure a Seinfeld rerun will be playing soon.
Just like Seinfeld, Molasses-Dipped Chicken with Mango Salsa will keep you coming back for more.
- For the Chicken:
- ½ cup molasses
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 2 cups flour
- 1½ cups bread crumbs - Panko crumbs work well, too
- 1½ teaspoon coriander
- 1½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1½ teaspoon Chinese Five Spice (see notes)
- 4 chicken breasts - skinned and boned
- ½ cup peanut or canola oil
- For the Mango Salsa:
- 2 mangos, peeled, pitted and chopped
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes - cut in half
- ½ cup sweet yellow onion - diced
- 1 tablespoon chipotle peppers in adobo sauce or poblano chile pepper - diced
- ⅓ cup red or yellow bell pepper - diced
- 1½ tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- ½ teaspoon coriander
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- For the chicken:
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Cover a sheet pan with aluminum foil and set it aside.
- Salt and pepper the chicken.
- Combine all dry ingredients - mix well and pour onto a flat dish or waxed paper.
- Combine molasses and buttermilk in a shallow dish. Mix well.
- Heat oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat.
- When oil is hot...
- Dip chicken in molasses mixture, let excess drip off then dredge in flour mixture.
- Place the breast in the hot oil.
- Repeat the process with the 4 chicken breasts.
- Cook chicken 3-4 minutes per side.
- Transfer chicken to the aluminum foil-covered sheet pan or baking dish.
- Bake 15 minutes or until chicken is golden and juices run clear.
- Take care not to over-bake the chicken.
- Remove the chicken from the oven, cover loosely and let it rest 3-5 minutes.
- When ready to serve, slice the breasts diagonally and arrange the pieces on a serving dish, overlapping sides a little.
- Serve the chicken topped with Mango Salsa.
- For the Mango Salsa:
- Gently combine all ingredients.
- Cover and refrigerate any leftovers.
Chinese Five Spice is a mixture of equal portions of:
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon fennel seed, toasted and ground
1 teaspoon ground star anise
1 teaspoon ground black pepper or 1 teaspoon szechuan peppercorns, ground
Combine all ingredients, then keep in an airtight container.