Tag Archives: dinner

Five Spice Creamy Chipotle Chicken

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We´ve all heard of chipotle-mayo, haven´t we?  BUT have you ever thought about chipotle-mustard?  Ahaaa!  I got to thinking about how good this combination would be, and concocted up this chicken that turned out beautifully.

Okay, so by now you might have noticed I´m a big fan of chipotle peppers.  I use them in a lot of my cooking.  I just love their rich, smoky, almost sweet flavor.  Go with me, here.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ cup adobo sauce
  • 2-3 chipotle peppers, chopped, de-seeded
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp mustard
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup half and half
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup cream cheese

INSTRUCTIONS:

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  1. Once you´ve cubed your chicken, put it in a bowl along with the salt, garlic powder, adobo sauce, chopped chipotle peppers, cayenne, paprika and mustard.  Mix it all together with a spoon, or your hands.  Yes, it´s a little messy, but it smells wonderful.
  2. Melt butter in an open skillet over medium high heat.
  3. Put saucy chicken in the skillet and let it cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occassionally.
  4. Add half and half, milk and cream cheese one at a time, stirring well.
  5. Once your sauce looks homogeneous, turn heat down to low.
  6. Cover and let cook for 10 minutes.

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I serve this one over rice with a side of steamed broccoli.  Enjoy!

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Chicken and Chorizo Jambalaya

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I kind of made this recipe up one day, based on the ingredients I had around the house.  Initially I was torn between calling it a jambalaya or a paella–because (this is embarassing) I don´t really exactly know the difference between the two.  I grew up eating both, in New Orleans and in Mexico, and well, they just kind of blend together in my mind.  I know paella has clams and is usually yellow-er, where as I´ve never seen a jambalaya with clams, and I think it almost always has tomatoes, making it redder.  But heck.  Other than that, they´re both rice dishes with chicken and shrimp, right?  And I didn´t even have shrimp when I made this, so I added chorizo and bacon to the mix.  Ahh whatever, call it what you will.  Wikipedia says jambalaya has it´s roots in Spanish paella, which–given the history of Louisiana–would make sense.

I´ve told you about how hard it´s been to find good chorizo, but I came up with this recipe when the chorizo was plentiful.  You can substitute it for any other sausage, no worries.  This dish is pretty easy, and delicious, as always.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into small cubes
  • 2 chorizo links (or any other delicious sausage)
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, chipotle seasoned
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • Optional: 4 strips of bacon, chopped
  • Optional: 1 lb medium shrimp

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Fry up the bacon.  Once it´s about halfway cooked, add in the chorizo.  Remember, if you have good chorizo, it´ll be crumbly once you cut the casing off.  If you´re stuck with terrible chorizo because you haven´t been to Mexico recently, you might have to chop it up.  If you don´t have chorizo, I guess you can substitute in any other delicious sausage.  Do your best.  Let these two cook and release flavorful fat.  Yum.  You can drain a little of the fat if you have a lot, but don´t get rid of all of it.
  2. Add onions and garlic.  Sautee until translucent and aromatic.
  3. Add chicken cubes.  After about 2 minutes, flip the cubes so they seal evenly on all sides.  Season with pepper and paprika.
  4. Add rice and sautee it.  Let it soak in those flavors.
  5. Add can of diced tomatoes.  If you have shrimp, add those now.
  6. Pour in chicken stock.  Mix everything gently so that everything is covered by the stock.
  7. Cover and lower heat to medium low.
  8. Let cook for 25 minutes without opening the lid!

ENJOY!

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Chilaquiles

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Chilaquiles are a common and delicious Mexican dish. There are several things I need to tell you.

  1. How to pronounce chilaquiles. It’s easy. Ready? CHEE-LAH-KEE-LES. See? You did it!
  2. This is a breakfast food. And you say, “but it’s not eggs and cereal and pancakes!” And I say, “doesn’t matter. Where I come from, this is breakfast.”  Okay, okay, in my house we eat it for dinner, but traditionally, it´s a breakfast food.
  3. Chilaquiles should NEVER EVER ever ever ever be a casserole. Never ever. It’s not a “Mexican lasagna.” Something like that might be tasty, but it is not chilaquiles and it is definitely not authentic.

So what are Chilaquiles? I think it’s fair to compare it to spaghetti and meatballs in that it’s carbs, meat, red sauce, cheese. Except it’s tortillas, chicken, red sauce, cheese. …And sour cream and avocado.
Mmmm it’s delicious okay?! Let’s leave it at that until you try it. In fact, it’s so delicious that we served this at our wedding.*

INGREDIENTS:

  • 10 tortillas (I prefer flour but you can use corn if you´re more of a traditionalist.)
  • 1 cup shredded chicken breast (I often cheat and start with a rotisserie chicken.)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup chunky salsa
  • 1 tsp Tony’s
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 onion, sliced into thin rings
  • 1/4 cup cheese (you really want queso fresco but a mild feta will do. I used mozzarella because that’s all I had.)
  • 1/4 cup cream (here you want crema or maybe creme fraiche but I use sour cream and dilute it with a bit of milk.)
  • 1 sliced avocado

TORTILLAS:

  1. Cut tortillas into about one inch squares and toss them into the deep fryer.
  2. Deep fry them for one minute at 350°.
  3. Drain them on paper towels.

CHICKEN:

  1. Shred your chicken. You can grill your own chicken for shredding but I usually cheat and start with a rotisserie chicken.

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SAUCE:

  1. In a wide open skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat and sauté garlic.
  2. Add tomato sauce and chunky salsa.
  3. Season with Tony’s, paprika and chili powder.
  4. Stir well and bring to low heat.

ASSEMBLE!

  1. Wait to assemble until you’re ready to serve, because you don’t want your tortillas to get soggy!
  2. Stir the tortillas into your sauce, enough for them to be coated, and then quickly scoop them out onto your plates. (See above.)
  3. Top with chicken and onions.
  4. Drizzle with crema and cheese.
  5. Top with thin avocado slices.
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I couldn´t find any good avocados at the store so we had to make do without :-/

Enjoy!

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*We had a beautiful wedding in Mexico. The mass was at the church I was baptised in, the reception at a beautiful hotel. In Mexico, reception parties last many hours… Ours was maybe eight hours long? This might sound terrible, but it’s not! We had a great time! Cocktails and pictures, then dinner and dancing and cake… And then second dinner and more dancing! What? It’s true. Wedding venues always offer a second meal for 50% of the guests, knowing your guests will be hungry from all that dancing! Michael chose chilaquiles for the second meal just because they’re his favorite dish.

In case you’re curious if our first meal was super Mexican, too, the menu was as follows: Appetizer: Pulled chicken tarragon tostadas; Soup: Lobster bisque; Entree: Angus Skirt Steak with potatoes and Chambray onions; Argentine sausage and mango habanero chimichurri on the side, side dish of herb mushrooms; Dessert: Tequila-drizzled lemon sorbet.  Our wedding cake was Tres Leches (my favorite) and second dinner was Chilaquiles (my husband´s favorite).  Mhmmm  🙂