Summer is here and it’s time for backyard barbecues! From smoky brisket to flame-cooked hamburgers, there’s nothing quite like pairing meats straight from the grill with cool California avocados— which are at the peak of their season.
Though California avocados make great sidekicks to all styles of American BBQ, they are also worthy candidates for the centerpiece of your grill. Plus, they are a healthy treat! Brush California avocado halves with olive oil and cook over a hot grill for two to three minutes for a delicious addition to your next summer spread.
For a unique twist, Chef Anthony Chin of Horse Thief BBQ in Los Angeles also recommends smoking California avocados. “We really enjoy working our smoker at Horse Thief BBQ and we found that smoked California avocados have a nice, hearty flavor,” says Chin.
Inspired by the premium avocados that are grown in California, Chin developed a Smoked Chicken and Baby Kale Salad with Creamy California Avocado Dressing that’s perfect for warm summer days.
SMOKED CHICKEN AND BABY KALE SALAD WITH CREAMY CALIFORNIA AVOCADO DRESSING
Recipe created by Chef Anthony Chin of Horse Thief BBQ for the California Avocado Commission
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes
- 1 ripe, fresh California Avocado
- 1 whole chicken, roughly 21/2 to 3 lbs. (can substitute with rotisserie chicken)*
- 10 oz. baby kale
- 1/2 medium red onion, sliced thinly
- 1/2 cup mint leaves
- 1/2 cup shelled pistachios
- 1 cup ruby red grapefruit segments
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1/8 tsp. salt, or to taste
- 1/8 tsp. pepper, or to taste
- 1 batch Smoked California Avocado Dressing (see make-ahead recipe below)
*If you don’t have a smoker, you can smoke chicken on a gas or charcoal grill. See below for instructions.
1. Cut avocado in half, remove seed and rub the inside of the avocado with oil.
2. Place chicken and avocado in smoker.
3. Add wood chips to the smoker and set it to 260° F.
4. Smoke the chicken and avocado at 260° F for 45 minutes or until an internal temperature of 165° F is reached.
5. Remove the avocado and chicken from the smoker and sear the chicken on a hot grill or in a hot pan over high heat to finish. Set chicken aside to cool.
6. Once the chicken has cooled, pull the meat from the bones, discard skin and bones and roughly chop chicken.
7. Peel avocados and cut into chunks. Place in a bowl with the kale, onion, mint, pistachios, grapefruit, olive oil and lemon. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Toss thoroughly and divide evenly into bowls. Top each with chopped chicken, then spoon dressing over entire dish. Toss, if desired.
SMOKED CALIFORNIA AVOCADO DRESSING:
- 1 ripe, fresh California Avocado, smoked and peeled
- 2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
- 2 Tbsp. lime juice
- 2 Tbsp. diced white onion
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/8 tsp. salt, or salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
Combine ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Smoking Chicken—Gas Grill: Set burner on one side of the grill to medium high and one side on low so you have a hot and cool side. Place a smoker box, full of desired wood chips, on hot side and chicken on cool side. Close grill and let cook at 300° F until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165° F.
Smoking Chicken—Charcoal Grill: Place coal on one side so you have a hot and cool side. When coals are ready, add soaked wood chips on top of coals and set chicken on cool side. Cover and cook at 300° F until chicken reaches 165° F internal temp.
Smoking Avocado—Gas or Charcoal Grill: Use the same technique to smoke the avocado. Cut avocado in half, remove seed, rub the inside with oil and place in smoker box for 45 minutes. When ready, scoop out avocado and give a rough chop.
For more unique ways to enjoy California avocados, visit www.CaliforniaAvocado. com.