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5 from 2 votes

Mexican Poached Chicken Salad

This brilliant salad mixes poached chicken with avocado and sweetcorn, crunchy cabbage, almonds and tortilla chips, topped with zingy jalapeno-spiked lime dressing.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: Mexican, Western
Keyword: chicken salad, mexican chicken, mexican chicken salad
Servings: 4
Calories: 518kcal


  • 1 lb chicken breasts 2 medium sized breasts
  • 1 qt light chicken broth or salted water
  • 2 ears sweetcorn
  • ¼ green cabbage finely sliced
  • ¼ red or purple cabbage finely sliced
  • 1 avocado peeled and cubed
  • 3 limes juiced, to give about 3 tbs
  • 3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika or chipotle powder
  • 2 tbs pickled jalapeno peppers finely chopped
  • salt
  • 1/3 cup almonds toasted and roughly chopped
  • 1.75 oz tortilla chips crushed (this is roughly equivalent to a large handful)


  • Put the chicken and broth into a small pot over medium heat. Bring to the boil and immediately turn the heat down so the liquid is barely simmering. Continue cooking until the chicken is cooked through, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and let the chicken sit in the cooking liquid for 15-20 minutes (don’t skip letting the chicken rest in the liquid – this is what makes it really tender and soft!).
  • While the chicken cooks, steam or boil the corn until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Slice the kernels off the cobs. For textural interest in the salad, I like to try and keep some kernels together in little clumps, rather than breaking them all apart.
  • Slice or shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Put the cabbage, chicken, corn and avocado into a large salad bowl.
  • Whisk together the lime juice, oil, smoked paprika and jalapeno peppers, and season well with salt. Pour this over the salad and toss gently to combine, trying not to break up the corn or avocado.
  • Top with the almonds and crushed tortilla chips and serve immediately.


  1. Serves 4.
  2. If you don’t have them, smoked paprika and pickled jalapeno chilies are available online or at good supermarkets, and chipotle powder can be bought online (it’s great added to all kinds of Mexican-themed dishes, I love it in chili con carne or incorporated into a seasoning rub for pulled pork).
  3. I use two types of cabbage in this recipe – green Savoy and the thicker-leafed purple or red variety. It’s completely fine to use just one, though I love the textural and colour differences of having both in there.
  4. If you’d like to turn this into a lunchbox meal, make it up to the end of step 3. Make your dressing and pack separately. Pack the almonds and tortilla chips separately, then dress and top with the nuts and chips just before serving.


Calories: 518kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 368mg | Potassium: 1274mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1105IU | Vitamin C: 72mg | Calcium: 137mg | Iron: 3mg