Tuesday, May 12, 2015

So-Easy Mexi-style Chicken

Looking for a quick, easy, DELICIOUS dinner to liven up the repetition of chicken?  That is what I was doing when I developed this recipe.  Chicken is cheap (at least where we live it is).  It is the most cost-effective way to feed a family of 6, half of which are men.  This recipe is so versatile, you can cook it 4 ways:

Slow cooker thawed
Slow cooker frozen
Stove top
Oven baked

... and if you are a grilling expert, you could even use the sauce as you would BBQ... but I am not a grilling expert and I like the tender flavorful version of the above methods.

What you need: 

The pictures say it all, you can see I go super cheap!  But here is the list:

Onion Powder
Garlic Powder
Chili Powder
Red Pepper (if you like super spicy)
     (I don't always have these last three seasonings on hand but it still turns out great)
Stewed tomatoes (you can use crushed if you prefer)
Salt and Pepper
Chicken of choice (I used boneless skinless breast)
     When feeding a crowd I will fillet my chicken to make it stretch

If you are baking, grease your baking dish with cooking oil first.
When I use my crock I mix the sauce straight in my cooking dish.  All other methods, I mix in a bowl and then pour it in.

Salsa and tomatoes first.  For 5 pieces of chicken I use about 2-3 cups salsa.  It doesn't have to cover the chicken but I like a good 1 1/2 to 2" lining of sauce in the bottom of my cooker. I crush the tomatoes by hand like so:

Then I sprinkle all my herbs to taste.  Usually about 1-2 teaspoons each (except the red pepper which I just barely put a pinch in).  A dash of salt and pepper and then give a quick stir. 

In the slow cooker:
Add the chicken and stir around just till coated.  Place the lid on and cook on low all day or on High for approximately 4 or 5 hours.  (For frozen chicken, cook on low)

On the stove top:
I use a deep frying pan with lid.  Put sauce in pan, lay chicken on top, cover with lid and fry on medium high, turning ever few minutes.  I usually remove the lid in the last few minutes of cooking to let some of the juice cook out and brown the chicken just a bit.  Add a bit of water if your juices cook out too quick, once they are gone your chicken will brown fast.  I then garnish with cheddar and/or Monterey Jack cheese before serving straight from pan.

In the oven:
Pour half of sauce in 13x9 baking dish.  Arrange chicken in pan, pour reaming sauce over top.  Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes and check.  I don't use this method as often as the other two but I believe cook time is 30-45 minutes.  I will also garnish this with cheese before serving.

I forgot to take a picture of the finished product!!  You can imagine how great it looks (and tastes!)  I love serving it with a side of salad and black or pinto or refried beans, and even tortilla chips.  All with trimmings of sour cream, green onions and cheese of choice.  I have also served it over a bed of Spanish rice which I have a crazy simple recipe for:

White or brown rice
cook in chicken broth (I use bullion base in water)
once done cooking, add salsa to taste
.... viola!

This is a filling and nutritious meal, almost ruin-proof.  It is my go-to meal when I know company is coming and they don't mind a little Tex-Mex! It feeds a crowd easy and cost effectively... two things I LOVE in the kitchen!

Blessings for great cooking and delicious dinners in your home!


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