Roasted Chicken with Avocado-Cilantro Sauce and Cumin Rice with Caramelized Onions

Let me just say, to die for! Venezuelan guasacaca, a bright, tangy sauce made from avocados, herbs and mild green chilies, is a standard accompaniment to grilled meats and chicken, and it is amazing. Here, we simply roast bone-in chicken thighs and/or breasts in a hot oven—it’s that simple. The cool, creamy avocado sauce is a perfect contrast to the golden brown, crisp-skinned meat.

We used a combination of breasts and thighs, and if you do the same, cut the breast halves in half again so they are uniform size to the thighs. The jalapeño, even though quite large, provided just a slight bit of heat because it was seeded and stemmed.

If you so choose, make the accompanying basmati rice dish. The grains do not stick together making it light and fluffy, and is a wonderful pairing with the chicken. Each dish taking about the same amount of time to cook.

Roasted Chicken with Avocado-Cilantro Sauce

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 3 lbs. bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs OR breasts OR a combination, trimmed and patted dry
  • 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 ripe avocados, halved, pitted and peeled
  • 1 1/2 cups lightly packed cilantro OR flat-leaf parsley, plus extra chopped, to serve
  • 1 jalapeño chili, stemmed and seeded
  • 1/2 medium white onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. white vinegar
  • Optional garnish: Lime wedges OR crumbled queso fresco OR chopped pickled jalapeños OR a combination


  1. Heat the oven to 450°F with a rack in the middle position.
  2. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the chicken with 2 tablespoons of the oil, then season with salt and pepper. Arrange skin side up and roast until the thickest part of the breast (if using) reaches about 160°F and the thickest part of the largest thigh (if using) reaches about 175°F, 30 to 40 minutes.
  3. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the avocados, cilantro, jalapeño, onion, vinegar, remaining 2 tablespoons oil and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Process until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Transfer the chicken to a platter and pour over any accumulated juices. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve with the sauce.

Recipe by Courtney Hill for Milk Street

Cumin Rice with Caramelized Onions

This unique rice dish is especially delicious and incorporates deeply caramelized onions. Their rich savory-sweetness is a perfect complement to the earthy cumin and nutty, aromatic basmati rice. Made with simple pantry staples, it’s an easy yet flavor-packed side, ideal for pairing with any roasted or grilled vegetables or meat as well as with curries or dal.

Cumin Rice with Caramelized Onions

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 3 Tbsp. ghee OR salted butter, cut into 3 pieces, divided
  • 2 medium yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice, rinsed and drained
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, to serve (optional)


  1. In a large saucepan over medium-high, melt the ghee. Add the onions and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally to start and more often once browning begins, until the onions are deeply caramelized, 10 to 15 minutes; reduce the heat if the onions brown very unevenly or too quickly.
  2. Add the cumin and cardamom; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the rice, 2 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-high, then reduce to low, cover and cook without stirring until the rice has absorbed the liquid, 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.
  3. Using a fork, fluff the rice; remove and discard the cardamom. Taste and season with salt and pepper. If desired, serve sprinkled with cilantro.

Adapted by a recipe from Dimitri Demopolous for Milk Street


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