Poached Chicken, Mango, Avocado, and Blueberry Salad with Maple Mustard Vinaigrette

Chx Avo Mango Blueberry Salad vertical

Do you despise rubbery, tasteless chicken? I do! The only solution I’ve found that renders succulent, slice-able chicken for salads or Alfredo or whatever (without confiscating the choice parts of a whole roast chicken at the table for “later”) is poaching. Although come to think of it, that first method is “poaching” too… but let’s move on.

When chicken breasts — even the boneless, skinless variety — are submerged and cooked at the gentlest of simmers (I’m talking barely a bubble) over the lowest heat possible, magic happens! Plus, you can “influence” the chicken’s flavor by whatever you throw in to simmer along with it. (I believe the proper term is infuse.)

For this batch I alternated whole carrots and celery stalks, chunks of onion, and a couple of garlic cloves in my Dutch oven, laid the chicken breasts on top (so as not to cook them too quickly on the bottom of the pan — the higher off the heat, the better), added a half-dozen black peppercorns, several sprigs of fresh parsley, a sprinkle of sea salt and a bay leaf topped with enough cold water to cover all of the above. Let the poaching begin!

Granted, it takes a bit of patience, but the tender results are worth your time (and mine) — not to mention more chicken stock for the freezer. Win, win! And hey, how ’bout those frozen blueberries… I feel a salad coming on. (I love visual reminders, don’t you?)

Blueberries and Chx Stock

Poached Chicken, Mango, Avocado, and Blueberry Salad with Maple Mustard Vinaigrette

Assorted greens (I used a “bagged mix” but anything with arugula is fine by me)

1 poached, sliced chicken breast (for an excellent tutorial on poaching click here — many thanks to The Kitchn!)

1 cup diced mango

1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced

Juice of 1 lime, freshly squeezed

1/2 cup blueberries (I used frozen, obviously)

Maple Mustard Vinaigrette

(adapted from Jodee Wieland’s “Delicious Homemade Honey Mustard Vinaigrette recipe here — thanks, Jodee!)

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 Tbsp. spicy brown mustard (Gulden’s or Grey Poupon)

1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup (the real deal)

3 drops hot sauce (Frank’s Red Hot or Louisiana style hot sauce) (no doubt I used more… let’s just say “to taste”)

1 small clove garlic, minced

Freshly ground black pepper & sea salt (ditto on “to taste”)

Assemble salad greens in the bottom of a large shallow bowl.

Top with artfully arranged slices of poached chicken, mango, avocado, and blueberries drizzled with freshly squeezed lime juice.

Pour on the Maple Mustard Vinaigrette and enjoy!

Poached chicken, avocado, mango, and blueberries with Spicy Maple Mustard Vinaigrette

There’s nothin’ complicated about this salad — just start slicin’ and dicin’ whatever’s in your fridge for your very own flavor fest and throw on a tasty vinaigrette — but, please take the time to properly poach your chicken first.

Enjoying weekend wonders,

~ Kim

22 thoughts on “Poached Chicken, Mango, Avocado, and Blueberry Salad with Maple Mustard Vinaigrette

  1. That salad just screams Christmas to me – it’s how we use up the leftover turkey. I love a mango avocado salad, and my only difference is I add a load of coriander (cilantro to you!). Never thought to add blueberries. Fab idea.

    • Mel, with your Christmas falling smack dab in the middle of summer, that sounds like a great idea! I’ll have to make this again with coriander (aka cilantro) — and turkey (yay for leftovers!) — thanks for your tips. :)

  2. Oh my goodness Kim!! Have chicken, just finished work early…… and purchased Mango,Avocado & Blueberries which were going in a fruit salad (not) anymore ha! Spring here in Sydney has really started to warm up so this dish is superb for tonight.
    will be huge delight for son coming home from Uni.
    Thank you so much for sharing x

    • Maddy, I’m tickled to have contributed to your son’s homecoming dinner! Isn’t it funny how some things destined for one recipe end up in another? I do that all the time, too. :)

  3. That’s a beautiful salad, Kim, that’s so colourful. I poached some chicken breasts on the weekend and you are right – it really makes them very tender and helps bring out the flavour. I love how this salad has mango. Mangoes have just arrived back in our shops and yesterday I bought a tray of them – excellent with chicken! xx

  4. Hi Kim, that sounds lovely. Is it very sweet or does the mustard vinaigrette soften that. I could live on mangoes, when they are in season my son and I go to the market, buy a case and make ourselves sick (and sticky) pigging out on them. :)

    • Maree, the maple syrup makes it “sweeter” but that pop of lime juice squeezed over the avocado & mango helped balance it. You could try using honey in the vinaigrette (as the original recipe calls for) or simply add the maple syrup to taste. Or, use a traditional vinaigrette (balsamic vinegar and olive oil with a lil’ salt & pepper) since the fruit adds plenty of sweetness by itself. Hope that helps!

  5. Hey Kimby, what a lovely salad you’ve got there & thanks for the tip! You can also try brining your meat for a tender & juicy texture; it works all the time! I’ve just posted a healthy recipe too, but nothing beats yours :D

    • Ally, I can never have enuf stock in the freezer. Last night this venture (adventure!) produced a yummy Chicken & Bacon in White Wine Sauce. Simultaneously, I cooked up a “roast beast” (our family nickname for roast beef, lol) in the crock pot (can we say beef stock?) that I’d hoped to serve for supper, but our power went out for a couple hours (such is life at the lake!) and I needed to feed that man o’ mine sumthin’! ;) Whatever works! (And praise God for the gal at church who gave me her ancient crock pot from the attic, LOL.) One step & great meal (and lots of stock) at a time, xo!

    • Thanks mucho, Chef Mimi! I’m loving OK’s transition into autumn (cooler mornings, warm afternoons) but I’m in still salad mode for as long as I possibly can be. Can it really be the end of summer?! (Tell me it ain’t so…) xo :)

  6. You are so right there is no better method of cooking for chicken. This combination is so summery and happy and I love the dressing flavours.

  7. What a happy salad and it would make me happy indeed to eat one right this minute. It’s salad season now and I have all these ingredients. I know what’s for dinner!

  8. That’s a wonderful combination Kim. It seems that all I’ve been doing is poaching chicken lately – although I’ve been taking the put it in the crock pot & leave it approach. Unfortunately my dog has been so sick lately with Lyme disease (for the 5th time!) and another tick born disease called anaplasmosis. She’s on antibiotics that are very strong and was having a hard time keeping dog food down so I’ve gone to cooking chicken & rice for her meals. At least she seems to tolerate that enough to keep the medicine down & is improving. Of course now if she saw me cooking chicken, she’d just assume it was for her.

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