Simple Barbecued Chicken Taco With Backyard Mango Salsa

This dish was created for a kids’ cooking class at SoBe in 2009. The goal was something healthy, fun, and easy, to let the little ones test their culinary chops without losing fingers! They all seemed to enjoy the class, and I only had to duck once or twice to escape the flying avocado. The combination of barbecue, mango, and avocado is fresh and zesty and very South Florida. The mangos literally came from my backyard; different mangos ripen at different times and so we’re lucky enough to get them from early summer into late fall. Half my staff has some kind of mango tree at home. We use as many as we can, then peel and clean the rest, saving them for purees and sorbet.


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

6 tablespoons favorite barbecue sauce, plus more for serving

1 large mango, peeled, pitted, and cut into small dice

2 tablespoons small-diced red onion

2 tablespoons small-diced green bell pepper

12 fresh cilantro leaves, chopped, plus more for garnish

Juice of 1 lime

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 fresh white corn tortillas

Vegetable oil, for tortillas

6 tablespoons shredded lettuce

8 slices avocado

In a baking dish, marinate the chicken breasts in the barbecue sauce. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Heat a grill to medium-high.

Remove the chicken from the sauce and grill until completely cooked, about 4 minutes on each side, depending on thickness. Set aside at room temperature.

In a bowl, combine the mango, onion, bell pepper, cilantro, lime juice, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Warm a nonstick pan or griddle. Lightly rub both sides of a tortilla with vegetable oil. Place the tortilla in the pan and heat until lightly browned, 1 minute on each side. Do not let the tortilla get crisp. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. Set aside.

Cut the warm chicken into thin strips. Lay the tortillas on a clean surface, and top each one with some lettuce, chicken, mango salsa, and 2 slices of avocado. Quickly fold the tortillas and place them on plates. Drizzle each tortilla with some barbecue sauce and sprinkle with cilantro.