Crispy chicken with lentil salad

This week I participated in a chopped challenge hosted by Food Network. It was worth the shot! I asked my son to find four completely random items from our pantry. He chose honey mustard, dried mango, chili flakes, and Juanita’s chilipeño chips.

The chopped challenge requires a family member to pick out four ingredients from your pantry. You then create a dish of any style you like. The catch is that you’re required to use those four items your family member chose in your final dish. I entered this challenge before and was featured by Scott Conan from Food Network!

Before you click away after seeing the length of this recipe, I’ve got something to tell you. Not only is it delicious, but you can use this recipe in multiple different ways! You can make the chicken itself to serve with your favorite dipping sauce. The salad can be used as a side for another meal. I also found that the salad goes great with chips too! Best of all, this is a gluten-friendly meal.

To make this dish, you will need:


  • 1 cup black beluga lentils
  • 2.5 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt


  • 2 garlic clove
  • 1 tbs honey mustard
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tbs dried mango (soaked in water for half hour)
  • 1 tbs minced jalapeno
  • 1 tbs cilantro, chopped
  • 6 tbs canola oil
  • 1 tbs white onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup tomato, seeded, diced
  • 1 tsp salt


  • 1/2 cup, seeded diced tomato
  • 3/4 cup mixed fresh pepper, seeded, diced
  • 1 Tbsp. Jalapeno
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black ground pepper
  • 1/8 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp. green onion, thinly sliced


  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 cup finely crushed Juanita’s chilipeño chips
  • 1/4 cup potato starch
  • 1/2 cup oil for frying

Prepping the chicken

In a glass bowl or shallow baking dish place chicken breast, buttermilk, chili flakes, paprika, onion, garlic powder and salt. Mix well. Cover and marinade chicken overnight. Don’t forget to bring the chicken to room temperature for an hour before you’re ready to cook.

In a shallow baking dish, mix in the crushed chips and potato starch. Mix well with a fork or hand. Put the chicken pieces in the tortilla chip mixture and mix well until well coated on both sides.

Heat 1/2 cup oil to large nonstick skillet. Add the chicken pieces to the hot oil. When you see the chicken is turning brown, reduce the heat to medium low. Continue cooking till the chicken is golden brown and its juices run clear when pierced with a fork. You can use a kitchen thermometer to check if chicken is done. This could take 12-15 minutes depending on the thickness of the chicken. Remove chicken from the skillet and transfer to a plate. Set aside while you put together the salad. While chicken is cooking you can make the dressing.

Cooking the lentils

Rinse the lentils in several changes of water. Add 2 1/2 cups of water, salt, and lentils in a medium sized pot. Bring the lentils to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until tender for around 18-20 minutes. Drain the lentils and rinse with cold water to prevent cooking further. Set aside while you prepare other ingredients. You can cook the lentils the night before, cool it, then put in the refrigerator overnight.

Making the dressing

In a food processor or a blender, blend all ingredients along with soaked mango cut into small pieces. Puree the mixture till nice and smooth. Set aside. If you don’t have dried mango, you can use fresh 1/4 cup mango roughly chopped.

Creating the salad

Add the lentils a large bowl. Mix all the salad ingredients and the salad dressing ( set aside 1/4 cup). Taste to see if more salt is needed.

To serve the dish, mound the salad onto plates and top with sliced chicken and drizzle some sauce around the lentils.

Serves: 4

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