If you love trying new chicken recipes then this chamoy chicken salad with homemade chamoy sauce should definitely be on your list! The hot, sweet, salty and tangy chamoy sauce is definitely a flavour sensation.
Trust me, this Mexican chamoy sauce works really well as a marinade and would be delicious on meats cooked on the barbecue in summer. It's sweet, salty and tangy with just a little heat from the chilli pepper. The chamoy sauce is lovely on the chicken and goes brilliantly with the creamy avocado in the salad.
If you love spices and discovering new flavours as much as I do then I'm sure you'll love it. One of my favourite things is experimenting with foods from other countries. And when I go abroad, trying the local food.
Unfortunately, I don't now manage to travel as much as I used to! Luckily, it has also become much easier to get hold of different spices and a wider range of dried chillies just in my local supermarket. I can now buy dried ancho chillies which I could only buy online previously.
Ancho chillies are dried Mexican poblano chilli peppers. They have a relatively mild fruity and smoky flavour and are brilliant in all kinds of Mexican dishes including chamoy sauce. When I first bought ancho chillies I was super excited to have a go at making it
What is Chamoy Sauce?
Chamoy sauce is a Mexican sauce made with fruit plus chillies, salt and lime juice. It's sweet, salty and sour with some chilli heat. It can be mild or quite hot.
What ingredients do you need for Chicken salad with chamoy sauce?
To make this recipe you'll need to make the chamoy sauce which is used as both a marinade for the chicken and as a dressing on the salad. You'll also need ingredients for the salad which are easy to adapt depending on your preferences.
So, for the chamoy sauce you'll need:
- Apricot jam - Mango jam can be used as an alternative and I'm sure mango chutney would work too. Some recipes are made from dried or even fresh fruit.
- Dried ancho chilli peppers - If you can't get hold of ancho chillies then the nearest substitutes are mulato or guajillo chilli peppers.
- Limes - Try to get juicy ones if you can!
For the salad I also used:
- Chicken - I used chicken breasts as my family prefer them but there's nothing to stop you from using boneless thighs. You could even use wings, drumsticks and thighs and bake them in the oven instead of cooking on the griddle.
- Lettuce - You can use any kind of salad leaves.
- Tomatoes - You can use cherry tomatoes or larger diced tomatoes
- Spring onions - I also think sliced red onion would work well.
- Avocado - I think this adds a beautiful creaminess that goes really well with the salty fruity flavour or the chamoy sauce.
How do you make the chamoy sauce?
Do check out the full recipe card at the bottom of the post for more details but basically you need to pour boiling water on the ancho chilli pepper and leave it to stand to rehydrate.
After 30 minues the chilli pepper will be soft and you can tear it up and add it to a foodprocessor with the other ingredients for the sauce. Depending on how hot you want the sauce to be you can remove some of the seeds at this point. It is totally up to you though!
Make sure you taste the sauce once you've blended it. You can add extra salt, more lime juice, jam or some of the seeds you may have removed from the ancho chili pepper.
How to make the chamoy chicken salad
Once you've made the sauce set some of it aside to serve with the salad.
If the chicken breasts you are using are quite fat, butterfly them by pressing your hand on top and slicing through the middle horizonally. Mix the chamoy sauce into the chicken and put it in the fridge to marinate for up to 24 hours.
Take the chicken out of the fridge half an hour before cooking it. Brush a griddle pan with a little oil and cook the chicken on each side for about 5 minutes or until it is cooked through.
Serve the chicken with the chopped vegetables and extra chamoy sauce.
How I developed this chamoy sauce recipe
My chamoy sauce recipe is adapted from the recipe on the McCormick website. When developping the recipe I looked at lots of recipes online and I found most of them were very similar.
Some chamoy recipes contained a lot more salt, which I felt would be too much. I added just enough so that it had a salty taste but not enough to make it unpleasant.
I also found that some recipes added extra sugar, but that may depend on how sweet the jam is that you use. The jam I used was quite sweet so I didn't feel it was necessary.
How else could you serve the chamoy sauce?
I think the chamoy sauce would go brilliantly with fish too. It would be lovely with salmon or a meaty white fish. It would also be great with halloumi.
If you want to make it into a vegan meal then why not serve it with roasted sweet potato wedges and roasted cauliflower. Or tofu.
You could just use it as a salad dressing. Or serve it with crackers, cheese and vegetable sticks as a dip.
Or why not stir some into some coleslaw?
How could you adapt the chamoy chicken salad?
Feel free to vary the salad ingredients you use with the chicken. You don't need to stick to the classic lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber combination I've used here. Sweetcorn would be good or roasted vegetables.
What can you do with the leftovers?
You can serve the leftover chamoy chicken in any way that you would serve leftover chicken. It's great in wraps or sandwiches. Or put it in another salad but vary the ingredients. How about with a rice salad?
How long does the chamoy chicken keep for?
As long as you keep the cooked chamoy chicken in the fridge it will keep well for at least 3 days. You can eat it cold or even reheat it alone or as part of another recipe.
Chamoy Chicken Salad with Chamoy Sauce
Chamoy Sauce Ingredients
- 130 g apricot jam
- 1-2 dried ancho chilli peppers
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2-3 juicy limes juiced
Chamoy Chicken Salad Ingredients
- 2 chicken breasts
- 30 g lettuce roughly chopped
- 16 cherry tomatoes approximately
- 100 g cucumber diced
- 3 spring onions chopped
- 1 avocado sliced into strips
- 3 tablespoon chamoy sauce
- How to Make the Chamoy Sauce
- Pour boiling water over the chilli pepper and let it soak for 30 minutes.
- Then tear the chilli pepper up, discarding the stalk and some of the seeds.
- Put the apricot jam, lime juice, chilli pepper and salt in a food processor. Blitz until smooth.
How to Make the Chamoy Chicken Salad
- Butterfly the chicken breasts by slicing a knife almost all the way through and opening them up to make them wider and flatter.
- Spoon some of the chamoy sauce onto the chicken. Coat it well and put it in the fridge to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
- Brush a griddle pan with oil. Cook the chicken for about 5 minutes on each side, maybe longer depending on the thickness of the chicken.
- When cooked, slice the chicken into thick strips. Arrange the salad on the plate, top with the warm chicken and drizzle with more of the chamoy sauce.
More Chicken Salads
If you're a fan of chicken salads when why not try one of these ones:
- Chicken and peach salad with a peach vinaigrette
- Harissa chicken salad
- Vietnamese chicken and rice salad
Or if you're just looking for a great chicken marinade then try my Nandos copycat chicken recipe.
Pin for later
Keep in touch
Do let me know if you make this Chamoy chicken salad and chamoy marinade. I love to get feedback from readers.