It’s time to break out the grill! A light summer dinner goes quickly to the table with grilled chicken salsa flatbreads! Brush your favorite flatbread with a light citrus marinade, toast it right on the grill while the chicken cooks, then top with the chicken and a super easy make-ahead mango salsa.
I’m getting a head start on summer’s fresh produce by cheating a little and buying slightly out-of-season fruits and vegetables — tomatoes! peppers! — to enjoy a nice big batch of citrusy salsa.
Salsa is not just for dipping: stirred into refried black beans, it makes an amazing side dish. Or whipped into a creamy vinaigrette to drizzle on a rainbow salad. Or spooned over an open-faced sandwich, like today’s chicken salsa flatbreads, to build a light, yet satisfying meal.
Especially when you’re a vegetable gardener who’s just dying for the season’s first homegrown Black Krim tomato.
Cook’s Notes for Chicken Salsa Flatbreads
- The citrus marinade does triple duty: brush it on the flatbreads before toasting, add it to the salsa, and brush it on the chicken for extra flavor. The citrus notes string the three disparate parts together into one cohesive dish.
- Not ready to grill yet? No problem! Rotisserie chicken is an awesome substitute – skip the citrus marinade, or drizzle a little bit extra once you toss the chicken with the salsa.
- Instead of grilling the flatbreads, you can toast them under the broiler.
- Mango salsa is probably my all time favorite salsa, but if you don’t like mangoes, skip ’em! In fact, just about any kind of salsa would be awesome for these flatbreads (thinking pineapple salsa … mmmm).
- Whatever fruits and vegetables you choose for your salsa, think, color! First, we “eat” with our eyes. At their core, these flatbreads are a deceptively simple meal, but with a few colorful selections, they can be centerpiece-worthy.
- The marinade and salsa are definitely make-ahead friendly – store in the fridge.
- If you are grilling the chicken (yay you!), you can combat chicken’s notorious post-grill dryness by brining the chicken in the extra marinade, adding more water and salt as needed to cover. Brine in the fridge for at least a half hour. (Discard the brine!)
It’s still a little too chilly here to fully enjoy the outdoor grilling experience, but just smelling the burning lump charcoal and wood chips brought back happy memories of summer grilling past.
Which made the crunchy, citrusy grilled chicken salsa flatbreads the tastiest, summeriest, sunshiniest thing I’ve eaten all year!
- 1 fresh orange, juiced
- 1 fresh lime, juiced
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large flatbreads or naan (I used Stonefire naan)
- 1/2 mango, chopped (peeled and pit removed)
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 cup chopped bell peppers (a mix of red and green is pretty)
- 2 heaping tablespoons chopped red onions
- 1/4 cup shredded red cabbage (optional, for extra color)
- 1 tablespoon minced cilantro
- 8 ounces chicken breasts or thighs, pounded to an even 3/4" thickness
- salt and pepper
- Preheat grill to medium-high; prepare for direct grilling (clean and oil grates).
- In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, lime juice, olive oil, and a big pinch of salt until well combined. You'll be using the marinade in three different ways.
- Brush the tops of the flatbreads thinly with the marinade. Place on the grill, marinade side up, until the bottoms are lightly toasted. Flip, and grill briefly. Remove and set aside.
- Toss the salsa ingredients go together in a medium bowl. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the marinade, a big pinch of salt, and toss again. Set aside. Before using, drain off any excess liquid.
- Brush the chicken with the remaining marinade and season with salt and pepper.** Grill over direct heat for 3 to 4 minutes then check for grill marks on the underside (you want there to be some browning). Flip, and continue cooking for 3 to 4 minutes more (again, there should be grills marks). Internal temp of the chicken should reach 160°F. Remove from heat and allow to rest (internal temp should reach 165°, and then begin to cool).
- When the chicken is cool enough to handle, chop into bite-sized pieces. Mix with the salsa. Spread the chicken and salsa over the flatbreads. Add more minced cilantro, if desired, plus a light sprinkling of salt and pepper. Use a pizza cutter or sharp serrated knife to cut each flatbread into fourths.
** If you have extra time for the chicken, pour the remaining marinade into a wide, shallow dish. Add water to a one-inch depth, and whisk in 1 teaspoon of salt. Submerge the chicken in the brine and refrigerate for a half hour before grilling. The citrusy brine will help the chicken retain juiciness.
*** Take extra care with marinade - don't brush it on the chicken and then use the contaminated marinade on the flatbreads or in the salsa. Use the marinade first on the flatbreads and the salsa, and then the chicken (or divide the marinade into two separate containers).