Cumin Crusted Chicken with Cotija and Mango-Garlic Sauce with Green Onion Pesto Mashed Potatoes

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 1 min
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Inactive: 1 min
  • Cook: 1 hr 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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2 tablespoons cumin seeds, toasted, plus 3 tablespoons toasted cumin seeds, ground

1 cup fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons

2 tablespoons honey

Freshly ground black pepper

4 (8 ounce) frenched, skin on chicken breasts

1/3 cup grated cotija cheese

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Mango Garlic Sauce, recipe follows

Green Onion Pesto Mashed Potatoes, recipe follows

Mango Garlic Sauce:

8 cups homemade chicken stock (do not use canned for this recipe)

8 whole black peppercorns

1 head roasted garlic, pureed

3 cups red wine vinegar

1 cup white wine vinegar

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

3 mangos, peeled, pitted and pureed

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Green Onion Pesto Mashed Potatoes:

4 pounds baking potatoes, like russets, peeled and cut into large cubes

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup heavy cream, scalded

Green Onion Pesto, recipe follows

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Green Onion Pesto:

2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

2 cloves garlic

6 spinach leaves

3 tablespoons chopped cilantro

6 green onions, coarsely chopped

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/4 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons grated Parmesan

2 tablespoons honey

Salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Whisk together the whole cumin, lemon juice, 1/2 cup olive oil, honey, and pepper in a medium baking dish. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Cover, and marinate for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Heat a large ovenproof saute pan over medium high heat. Remove chicken from marinade and wipe off any excess. Combine the ground cumin, cotija, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Dust the chicken on the skin side with the mixture.
  4. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet. Place the chicken, skin side down, in the pan and cook until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Turn over and place in the oven. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until just cooked through.
  5. Serve drizzled with the Mango Garlic Sauce and with the Green Onion Pesto Mashed Potatoes.

Mango Garlic Sauce:

  1. Combine chicken stock, peppercorns, and garlic in a medium saucepan and cook until reduced to 3 cups. Strain into a bowl.
  2. Place both vinegars in a separate medium saucepan and cook until reduced by 1/2. Add the sugar and mango puree, and reduce until the sauce coats the back of a spoon thickly.
  3. Add the reduced chicken stock and cook for 10 minutes over medium heat until thickened, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.

Green Onion Pesto Mashed Potatoes:

Yield: 6 to 8 servings
  1. Place potatoes in a large pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Cook until soft, about 25 to 30 minutes. Drain well and run through a food mill into a large bowl. Stir in the butter and cream and mix until combined. Swirl in the Green Onion Pesto and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Green Onion Pesto:

  1. Combine pumpkin seeds, garlic, spinach, and cilantro in food processor and process until smooth. Add green onions and lime juice, and process until smooth.
  2. With the motor running, slowly add the oil. Add the Parmesan, honey, salt, and pepper, and pulse several times until combined.