Cayenne-Rubbed Chicken with Avocado Salsa

Some meals were made for making in the summer, like those requiring all windows to be open. Martha Stewart’s cayenne-rubbed chicken with avocado salsa is one of those dishes—because you run the risk of pepper-spraying yourself out of the room if you cook it with windows closed.

Cayenne-rubbed chicken with avocado salsa as a delicious leftovers lunch

Cayenne-rubbed chicken with avocado salsa

Nevertheless, just as crying while cutting onions is worth the effort, so is shedding tears in a cayenne-filled kitchen while making this dish. Fortunately, it’s quick and easy to make, and there’s Febreeze to handle the aftermath.

Rob and I first discovered cayenne-rubbed chicken with avocado salsa while recipe-searching for something to make on date night a while ago. We started talking about making it again this past weekend, but Rob was wary about filling his apartment with cough-inducing fumes. We considered grilling the chicken on his balcony to cordon off the cayenne but it was raining and we were tired. Still craving this delicious recipe, I made it at my place on Monday night.

Cayenne-rubbed chicken is incredibly simple to make, looks great (I love colorful foods), and is jam-packed with flavor. To make the chicken, the recipe calls on you to combine 1 teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper to create the rub. I, however, quadruple the cayenne and add 1 teaspoon to my mix. Once you’ve rubbed the chicken with your spicy concoction, you cook the breasts on a frying pan over medium heat. (Here, I also make a slight change and use only 1 tablespoon olive oil rather than the recommended 2 tablespoons. I also read that this recipe works wonderfully with tilapia in lieu of chicken.)

This dish really doesn't require preparing a mise en place (you make the salsa while the chicken is cooking) but it makes for a pretty picture

Extra-spicy cayenne-rubbed chicken ready for the frying pan

This is where the self-pepper-spraying occurs. As the chicken cooks—and you chop a small red onion and one Haas avocado and mix with 2 tablespoons lime juice to create the salsa—the cayenne will inevitably waft into the air. Coughing and crying may ensue but mostly only if you lean too closely over the pan—as I did—to inspect the doneness of the chicken. It does get into the air though.

The salsa (a simple mix of avocado, red onion, and lime juice) tames the spicy kick of the chicken. Cilantro would be an excellent addition to the salsa if you're up for it.

The cayenne (especially the 1 teaspoon that I use) packs a serious punch, but the avocado salsa tames the spicy kick and adds a creamy texture and additional flavor. I ate mine with brown and wild rice and then—always one of the biggest benefits of cooking—packed up the rest for lunches later this week. I can’t wait for summer so I can start cooking this more often.

A delicious dinner, ready within 40 minutes.

Plus it makes an amazing leftovers lunch

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3 Responses to “Cayenne-Rubbed Chicken with Avocado Salsa”


  1. 1 Courtney 04/06/2010 at 7:57 am

    Miyoko,

    That looks awesome. I’m going to have to try it! Makes me wish for my old apartment with the range hood though — For those lucky enough to have one, I’m sure turning that fan on would clear up the pepper spray effect.

  2. 2 miyokoeats 04/06/2010 at 8:01 am

    Haha, oh the luxuries you forget about when you live in a hundred-year-old apartment building. An overhead fan would most definitely help. Thanks for the suggestion, Courtney!

  3. 3 sex offenders 08/07/2013 at 11:17 am

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