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Frozen chicken breasts (Recipe: chicken with mango barbecue sauce)

Adapted, in part, from an archived post, with new recipe, photos and links.


Today I'm planning to bare my breasts.

Fear not, my breasts are absolutely G-rated, and they are an essential part of my culinary arsenal. More than any other food product, boneless, skinless frozen chicken breasts are the save-my-bacon ingredient I turn to week in and week out, whether I need to create a meal in a hurry or I'm cooking for a crowd.

Whenever I can, I buy "happy meat" from one of our local Rhode Island farms, but I always keep a bag of Empire kosher chicken breasts in the freezer. Based in Pennsylvania, Empire buys chickens from farms within an hour's drive of its plant, and processes them according to Jewish dietary laws.


What kosher means for the consumer is a guarantee of a high-quality chicken grown and slaughtered under humane conditions. What it means for the cook is amazing flavor. As part of the koshering process, Empire chickens are salted to draw out the blood, and then rinsed and dried. The salting results in a chicken breast that has great taste and is, in effect, pre-brined.

Empire chicken comes in bags of 5-6 well-trimmed breast halves, available at Costco. You can find it also at Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and several supermarket chains.

There are at least 1,001 ways to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts: stuffed with green chiles and cheese, grilled with lemon and basil, stir fried with asparagus and cashews, sauteed in paillards, or poached for chicken salad.

What's your favorite way to bare your (chicken) breasts?


Chicken with mango barbecue sauce

Very slightly adapted from The Food You Crave, by Ellie Krieger. Serves 8.


2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced
3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
3 Tbsp unsulfured molasses
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice (from half of a lime)
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1 medium ripe mango, peeled, pitted and diced
2-3 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, pounded between 2 sheets of waxed paper to 1/2-inch thickness


Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat, Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 2-3 minutes. Add the bell pepper, garlic, salt, black pepper and allspice, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes more. Add the vinegar, molasses, Worcestershire, lime juice and tomato sauce, and cook for one minute more. Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor, add the mango and jalapeños, and process until smooth.

Put two cups of the sauce into a large sealable (ziploc) bag with the chicken, and marinate for 1 hour in the refrigerator. Reserve the rest of the sauce for serving.

When you're ready to cook, heat a grill or stovetop grill pan to medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the bag, discarding marinade. Grill the chicken just until cooked all the way through, approximately 4 minutes per side. Serve at room temperature, with the reserved sauce on the side. Or refrigerate and serve cold.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:

Chicken ratatouille
Chicken shish kabob
Thai chicken curry
Mango mint gazpacho
Mango lassi
Backyard barbecue sauce

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


One of our very favorite chicken breast recipes is simply marinated in a seasoned lime juice and sauted in the grill pan and then served with a lime sauce.
Great opening Lydia :)

Only the G rated version?? Cone on, your fans expect to see more HAHAHA

Not being a fan of white meat, I don't cook these often, but when I do I adopt the Thomas Keller version....well salted, in the oven at 400, rest for 10 minutes or so, slather with butter. eat and enjoy

I'm thrilled to see you keep kosher chicken in your pantry. I typically have a package of chicken thighs in the freezer for the same "go to" reason.

I usually make a picatta -- saute the chicken in butter, add garlic, white wine and capers. Cook a little more and finish with a little more butter and lemon juice. Simple and delicious.

My favorite summer weekday chicken recipe is a total regression to childhood -- chicken fingers made in the toaster oven (to avoid heating up the place). Granted I make these with panko and wheat germ and spices and I never even had chicken fingers as a kid, but they're fast, easy, and fun. Which is sometimes exactly what's needed after a day at work in the summer in the city.

Ha! Do you know I've been dining on chicken breast all week? I just discovered that my long-ignored George Foreman Grill cooks them in 5 minutes with beautiful grill marks! I've been slicing them up over fresh greens from the CSA with a dressing of pureed ginger and pineapple.

Sounds delicious. I'm not sure I've ever had kosher chicken (it's not common at all here) so now I'm very curious about whether I could tell the difference.

Last time I was in RI, my mom made me pork with mango bbq sauce, and I loved it. This looks so delicious, Lydia.

Mmmm I've been itching to try my own barbecue sauce. It might be this one!

I adore Ellie Krieger! She's so down-to-earth & sensible. This recipe is delish. I've been messing with my own BBQ sauce. usu hoisin & a dash of ketchup then season with whatever I feel like. last time, I used peach-pineapple salsa instead of the ketchup, & minced habanero. very caribe! thanks for the recipe & pic, so beautiful.

We buy these Empire chicken breasts at Costco too! But that's because we keep kosher! :)

Hi Lydia,
I'm grilling on Monday for my discussion group and I’m thinking about using the sauce sans the jalapeno peppers. Also I’m using Empire whole cut up chicken only because I really do like dark meat chicken.
Thanks for the idea


I didn't know that about kosher chicken. Thank you!

Any marinade that has mango and jalapeno HAS to be fantastic! And I love that you throw everything into a ziplock bag to marinate - saves having to find a bowl big enough.

I never thought about what 'kosher' meant to the consumer. Thanks for pointing that out.

MyKitchen, chicken and lime really love each other, don't they?

Milton, butter makes everything better. I'll have to try this method.

Julia, piccata is lovely, especially for caper lovers.

AA, your chicken fingers sound a bit healthier than the ones we had as kids (the frozen kind).

TW, the ginger-pineapple dressing sounds very tropical and summery. I love grilled chicken breast -- even from a George Foreman grill!

Kalyn, the kosher chicken is often brined, so you would taste the difference. I get mine at Costco.

Susan, Maris: the sauce was luscious. My photo doesn't do it justice.

Jenna, hoisin is the secret ingredient in many of my sauces, too. It's rich and thick and sweet -- a perfect starting point for a BBQ sauce.

M, I buy them at Costco, too. Trader Joe's also sells Empire Kosher products.

Kim, you'll need something to balance the sweetness in the sauce, so do include the jalapenos -- if you remove the seeds and ribs, the peppers are really quite mild.

Bridget, Joan: I was glad to learn more about kosher chicken, too, though I grew up with it and should have known.

Toni, you're right, the combo of jalapeno and mango was delicious. I'd make the sauce again and add even more heat to it.

I always have chicken breasts in my freezer. I get kind of bored of the typical bbq sauce, but I LOVE mangos, so I bet I'd really enjoy this one!

I love the mango sauce here...simply divine!

I'll look for this brand of chicken. Recipe sounds delish!


thanks for this great product - I am immeadiately going to switch!
my favorite quick chicken dish... pan seared in Olive Oil,S&P, maybe a shallot if i have one.
then remove chicken when cooked thru and make a quick pan sauce of dijon mustard, honey and dried rosemary!

I want to kiss you to thank you for informing me about Kosher chicken and that it's available at Costco. "Whole Paycheck" doesn't have to get all of my protein dollars now. I'm partial to chicken breasts with the skin and bone in. I rub with olive oil, sprinkle a little kosher salt, garlic power and pepper, roast, then slice up to top on salads (sans skin), use in fajitas, or make various chicken salads - my fav being with walnuts & cranberries. Thanks.

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