Chicken with Clementine Salsa

If you’re like me, you are searching for a little bit of sunshine and warmth here in the frozen midwest.  Although the change of seasons is appealing, sometimes January and February are just a little too extreme to the lower level of the thermometer for my liking.

So let me introduce to you this Chicken with Clementine Salsa.  It’s light.  It’s bright.  And it’s oh so full of that warm and spectacular California sunshine.

Have you tried the California Cuties brand of clementines?  I learned about this specific brand of citrus from Mom a couple years ago, and have quickly grasped the fact that they are ALWAYS great.  No longer will I individually choose clementines from the fresh produce bins at the store, to only be disappointed when I sink my teeth into them at home.  I now simply pick up one of the Cuties bags or boxes, and I’m set with a brand I’ve come to trust.

These clementines are super sweet, extremely easy to peel, mostly seedless, and the perfect size for young hands.  Over the past two weeks, we’ve finished off almost two 5-pound boxes of this eating pleasure.  It’s been the snack of choice at home and an easy (and healthy!) treat to pop into the school backpack.  Very refreshing after a month of high sugar holiday celebrations.

If you’ve been craving a light yet satisfying main entree, give this Chicken with Clementine Salsa a try.  There’s something very special about the salsa.  The sweet clementines combined with the pungent basil and bite of chile is really lovely.  And the dish makes a beautiful presentation, full of texture and color.  Good enough to serve to company.

Chicken with Clementine Salsa

Yield: 4


  • 4 5-oz. chicken breast halves
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 T. olive oil

for the salsa:

  • 3 clementines, peeled and diced
  • 1 c. quartered cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 c. finely diced red onion
  • 1/2 c. finely diced celery (or green bell pepper is also good)
  • 1/4 c. coarsely chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 c. coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 T. fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 of a serrano chile, seeded and minced (use a whole chile if you like more heat)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

for the sauce:

  • 1/2 c. fresh clementine juice (from about 6 clementines)


Place chicken breast halves between 2 sheets of plastic wrap, leaving some space between each one.  Using a mallet or rolling pin, pound the chicken to 1/4″ thickness.  This can be done 1 day ahead, covered, and refrigerated.

In a medium bowl, mix together all the salsa ingredients, seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste.  This can be made up to 2 hours ahead of serving.  Keep refrigerated.  Let come to room temperature before serving.

Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper.  Heat olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add chicken and cook until beautifully browned and cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes per side.  Transfer chicken to a plate.  Make the sauce by adding the clementine juice to the hot skillet.  Boil until the juice reduces by half, stirring often.  This will only take a couple minutes.

Drizzle sauce over individual chicken breasts.  Spoon salsa over the chicken breasts and serve.

adapted slightly from Bon Appetit, December 2009


10 Responses to “Chicken with Clementine Salsa”

  1. #
    Paula — January 10, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    Winter can leave anytime now but I doubt it will. Your chicken and clementine salsa recipe looks like just the ticket to help get us through these next several weeks.

    • farmgirl replied on January 10th, 2011 at 9:04 pm

      I doubt that, too, Paula. Gotta come up with more ways to warm up this winter!!

  2. #
    Laura Hahn — January 10, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    I love clementines and usually have some in the house–so I will be making this recipe soon! thank you!

    • farmgirl replied on January 10th, 2011 at 9:05 pm

      You’re welcome, Laura – great to hear from you!

  3. #
    Leah @ Beyer Beware — January 17, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    My word does that look amazing. I am always afraid to make a recipe from Bon Appetit. I love being inspired from their recipes. I guess I should put on my big girl panties and just make the recipe!

    • farmgirl replied on January 18th, 2011 at 8:12 am

      Yes, Leah, give it a try! Thanks for stopping by!

  4. #
    MEGHAN — January 23, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    Hi Brenda!
    Do you think this salsa would be good with fish? (were gettign a little tired of chicken these days) Sounds like sword fish fillets might stand up to it. Let me know what you think! Thanks my friend!

    • farmgirl replied on January 24th, 2011 at 7:51 am

      Hello Meghan, so nice to hear from you, my dear friend! I do think this would be good with a nice firm white fish. Especially if the fish had a contrasting sauteed crust to it, as the salsa is texturally pretty soft. Lemme know if you try it, please!

  5. #
    Michael Kemp — August 5, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    I made this tonight. Delicious, light, and full of yummy flavors. Thank you.

    • Brenda replied on August 7th, 2014 at 12:45 pm

      Wonderful! Thanks for letting me know! :)

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