Often part of the fancy salad category, a chicken mango salad is a type of salad that includes pieces of chicken breast and mango in addition to more traditional salad ingredients. Usually considered a main course salad, this dish can sometimes be found in restaurants but is more often homemade. These salads usually contain a variety of vegetables and may or may not be served while the chicken is still hot.
Chicken mango salad has highly variable ingredients. The only requirements are chicken, mangoes, and some variety of lettuce. Vegetables, such as bell peppers and onions, are often included in these salads. Avocados are also a popular addition. Nuts, like slivered almonds, can be added to the salad as well.
Almost any type of lettuce can be used in a chicken mango salad. Romaine, arugula, and watercress are popular suggestions. Additionally, store-bought bags of salad mix work well. The advantages of bagged salad mix is that not only is the lettuce already torn into bite-sized pieces, additional vegetables are already included in the mix as well.
Boneless skinless chicken breasts are almost always used for this dish. A breast is either grilled or fried in olive oil before it is place on the salad. Usually, it is cut into cubes or strips after it is cooked, but it may be sliced into strips before cooking as well. The breast may be placed on the salad while it is still warm or it may be chilled before serving.
The vegetables are usually included raw but may be grilled or fried instead. Peppers, however, may be roasted rather than fried. The vegetables are either sliced or diced, depending on the cook's preference. Occasionally, the mangoes may be cooked as well. Whether cooked or raw, the mangoes are normally diced before being added to the salad.
Once the chicken — and vegetables if desired — are cooked, they are tossed with the lettuce and other raw ingredients. Sometimes, the chicken may be left on top of the individual serving of tossed salad, particularly if it is cut into strips rather than cubes. Often, homemade dressings are used, but store-bought dressings work as well.
Dressings for chicken mango salad are usually sweet vinaigrettes. Olive oil, vinegar, and often lime juice are common ingredients for homemade dressings. A sweetener, like honey or brown sugar, is also generally included in the dressing. Spices, such as cumin, paprika, and ginger, often give these dressings a special zest.