“Tacos are like what the voices of a hundred angels singing Bob Dylan while sitting on rainbows and playing banjos would taste like if that sound were edible.” -Isabel Quintero
I found the above quote on Goodreads. I'm not sure I have ever come across a more glorious food quote! Made my whole being smile. Then again, it makes me think this recipe really has a lot to live up to, and I am a little nervous about that! I also just realized it has been a long time since I posted a recipe or a Gratitude Diaries (entry coming soon!). So I thought I'd quickly share where my crazy brain has been the last month.
First of all I have a senior in high school who will be graduating in just a little over a month. I am wanting to make the most of the time we have together before she (my youngest of two kids) heads off to college out of state. I work almost full-time outside of the house, so that's an added time taker. Lastly I have been doing some creative exploration that I have not shared here. I have created some mixed media art and some leather wrap bracelets specifically and the act of creating has just taken me to such a happy place, I neglected many other things (blog, laundry, clearing the paper clutter off my counters....) But I re-grouped recently to handle some of those issues and thus a new blog post in the form of a recipe. So I hope it was worth the wait. Thanks for hanging in there. Weebly, my blog host, gives me stats, and somehow, you have been still visiting and reading! So thank you so much for that! xoxo
This recipe is inspired by one I saw travel on Facebook from Better Homes and Gardens. I made their version and it was time consuming and messier than I liked. Don't get me wrong, it tasted very good, but not good enough to justify how long it took me to make it. So I stream-lined things a bit and came up with the following. Yummy good and super easy thanks to the use of a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken from Costco (or wherever...mine had a net weight of about 3 lbs). Try it and see what you think. It was a huge hit at my house and is already being requested for an encore appearance. Buen Provecho!
Green Chile-Tequila Chicken Tacos (Serves 6 or so)
Breast and Thigh meat from 1 pre-cooked Rotisserie chicken, shredded, skin removed, pan juices reserved.*
1 c. diced onion
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded
2 Tbsp. Tequila (I used Jose Cuervo Gold)
1 1/2 cups salsa verde (if you are near a Trader Joe's, I really like their brand, too)
1 cup chicken stock
pinch coarse ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp dried oregano, crumbled
6" corn tortillas (GF are available)
Assorted toppings to taste:
Cilantro, crumbled cotija cheese**, radishes julienned, chopped red or green cabbage, diced fresh tomatoes, diced white or green onion, minced jalapeno or pickled jalapeno slices, fresh lime wedges
1. In a large skillet heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil until hot, but not smoking. Add in onion, garlic and jalapeno half. Cook, stirring until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in Tequila and cook until nearly evaporated.
2. Stir in salsa verde , chicken stock, salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, oregano and reserved pan juices. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and reduced, about 10-15 minutes. Remove and discard jalapeno OR you can chop it up and stir it back in if you want some extra kick. Stir in reserved chicken.
3. Combine chicken and pan sauce until fully coated. Simmer until heated through. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. (remember the cotija cheese is on the salty side if using). Remove from heat, cover and set aside .
4. Meanwhile heat another skillet or griddle and heat corn tortillas on medium to medium high heat on both sides to make them soft and malleable, about 30-60 seconds per side.
5. Have a variety of toppings nearby. Create tacos by filling warm tortillas with a small amount of chicken the topping as desired. Don't overfill! Squeeze lime juice on top if that's to your taste.
Notes: * Chicken demi-glace would be a good substitute for the rotisserie chicken pan juices. It's available on-line or in some gourmet grocery stores. Use 1 Tbsp or to taste. A little goes a long way. Store leftover in freezer, air-tight.
** a substitute for Cotija cheese, if it's not available, near you, is just a basic domestic crumbled feta from the dairy aisle of your grocery store.
"How could such sweet and wholesome hours Be reckoned but with herbs and flowers." - Andrew Marvel
How could such simple ingredients yield such delicious results is really the question! This flavor of this Grilled Herb Chicken (also delicious on shrimp and even on salmon, just don't marinate as long), a staple in my house since my meal prep business days, belies the simplicity of the recipe. Just a handful of ingredients, most of which you probably have on hand or could easily grab at the market, transfer otherwise bland and boring boneless, skinless chicken breasts into a deliciously flavorful and moist entree ready to star in the center of your plate! It is in fact, my most favorite summer grilled chicken recipe. I should have shared it sooner, but there still plenty of nice weather ahead. So fire up your grill and let's get cooking (ideally you will have marinated the chicken over-night or for at least 4 hours prior to grilling).
Grilled Herb Chicken- serves 6
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup finely minced red onion
1/4 cup minced fresh Italian (flat leaf) Parsley
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1. Gather all your ingredients! Fresh is always best!
2. In a small bowl whisk together all ingredients, except chicken, until well combined (not so pretty, but just wait)...
3. Place chicken in a zip top plastic bag. Pour marinade into bag; seal, squeezing out all the air.
4. Massage marinade into chicken to distribute evenly.
5. Place chicken in refrigerator and marinate over-night or for at least 4 hours.
6. Preheat grill to medium high heat. Clean and oil grates (or use an indoor grill pan).
7. While grill is preheating., remove chicken from fridge. When grill is hot, remove chicken from marinade discarding marinade.
8. Place chicken on grill and cook 5-7 minutes per side, or until done (165 Degrees F internal temp), turning once.
I just know you are going to love it, too! ♥
“Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.” -Ruth Reichl
Just came across that quote-love it!! Don't you? So anyhow, just wanted to give you another idea how to use that Cool and Crunchy Jicama Slaw I recently featured. It makes summer meals taste better...really! We had it last night with Oven-Baked BBQ Ribs (finished off the ribs on the grill with some smoking chips). It was perfect because ribs are heavy and rich and the slaw is the complete opposite-light and fresh. Well, here is another idea, a grilled chicken tostada. If you have the slaw made already you are half-way there! If you have left-over grilled chicken from another meal, well, then you have a quick and easy meal with barely any effort! If you are starting from scratch, let me show you how!
Grilled Chicken Tostada- serves 4 to 6
Jicama Slaw made with half of dressing, reserve other half
4 split chicken breasts, about 6 ounces each
seasoning mix from this recipe
6" flour or crunchy corn tostada tortillas (your choice)
2 avocados, pitted and sliced
cilantro leaves for garnish, optional
lime wedges for serving, optional
1. Preheat grill. Prepare seasoning mix and set aside.
2.Take two sheets of plastic wrap and place chicken breasts in-between the two sheets. Pound them into an even thickness, no more than 1/2 ".
3. Season both sides of chicken with spice mixture (a generous pinch per side).
4. Place chicken on hot grill and cook, turning once, til just done, about 3-4 minutes per side. Do not over-cook. Remove from grill and let rest for 5 minutes.
5. Slice chicken in half lengthwise and then into thin strips cross-wise.
6. If using flour tortillas, grill them until browned and crisp (sorry for the way too blurry shot, but you get the idea). If using crunchy corn tostada tortillas, skip this step.
7. To assemble: on each plate, lay down a tortilla. Top with a layer of grilled chicken. Top the chicken with Cool and Crunchy Jicama Slaw, drizzle with a little extra slaw dressing, then garnish with sliced avocado , cilantro leaves and lime wedges, if desired. As they say south of the border- Buen Provecho! ♥
"Tell me and I'll forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I'll understand." -Chinese proverb
Not that Chicken stir-fry lettuce cups are authentically Chinese, but they are in the spirit of Chinese cuisine.You may have had them at the popular restaurant, P.F. Chang's. My local Chinese eatery, South China Restaurant in Fort Collins (the best!!), has a version that is to die for. Ming Lee, the chef-owner, serves them with a very unique orange sauce that I wish I knew how to make. So delicious!
You can finds lots of recipes for Chicken Lettuce cups on-line; this is mine. It is a featured recipe in my e-cookbook on poultry which you can find here. My kids love this dish and I have made it for groups of their friends always to rave reviews (they don't even know it is full of mushrooms). It is fun to serve it family style and let everyone personalize their cups with the toppings they prefer. I know ground chicken isn't always easy to find. If you have a nice butcher he or she may be happy to grind it for you to order. I will caution you that if you decide to substitute ground turkey for the chicken, the taste will not be the same. When made with chicken the dish tastes is lighter and cleaner. Don't be put off by the long-ish ingredient list. The trick is to have everything ready to go. It comes together very quickly once the prep is complete.
Asian Chicken Stir-Fry Lettuce Cups- serves 4 (or more for appetizers)
1 pound ground chicken breast
2 port0bello mushrooms, stemmed and gills removed, minced (I use a food processor)
2 Tablespoons Tamari (gluten-free soy sauce) or low sodium soy sauce
4 scallions, sliced very thinly, white and some of the green parts, plus more for garnish
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/3 cup shredded carrot
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1 teaspoon peeled and minced fresh ginger (I use a microplane to mince)
2 teaspoons oyster sauce (this brand is gluten free according to the manufacturer)
juice from half an orange
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
2 Tablespoons coconut or light olive oil
Sliced toasted almonds
Asian Sweet Chili Sauce ( this brand is gluten free)
Fresh radishes, cut into thin matchsticks (I use a mandoline)
whole lettuce leaves for serving chicken (butter and iceberg work well)
See all these yummy fresh ingredients that are about to become your dinner?!!
1. In a medium bowl, combine the ground chicken, 4 sliced scallions, cornstarch and Tamari sauce. Marinate the ingredients for 10 minutes.
2. In the meantime, arrange the lettuce leaves on a large platter. Pour the chili sauce into a ramekin and place on platter. Place all the other garnishes (almonds, radishes, green onion and cilantro) into individual ramekins and arrange on platter, leaving room for the chicken mixture once it's done.
3. Over medium-high heat 2 tablespoons of coconut or other oil in a skillet or wok, if you have one. When it is hot but not smoking, stir in minced mushrooms. Stir-fry mushrooms 15-20 seconds. Stir in carrots, red pepper flakes, garlic, ginger and stir-fry another 15 seconds.
4. Add in chicken mixture and cook, stirring often, until browned and cooked through, being sure to crumble it up as you cook it. You want a very small texture, not big chunks. Stir in orange juice, 2 tablespoons cilantro and oyster sauce. Cook 30 seconds more.
5. Remove chicken from heat and spoon onto your serving platter.
6. To serve, spoon some chicken mixture into your lettuce cup and top with desired garnishes. Eat immediately!
If you are looking for more delicious poultry recipes, please take a look at my e-cookbook on Amazon!
“The best meals are those prepared by loving hands.” - Ken Poirot
It's mid-week, and things are busy in your house. Am I right? Or maybe you had a busy day at work or school and you don't really feel much like cooking, but still want to put a nourishing meal on the table with minimal effort. With a few pantry items and some leftover chicken, you can do just that! A week ago or so, we had leftover rotisserie chicken and in the back of my mind I thought that Chicken Burrito Bowls would be an easy and delicious way to use that up. It ended up being a big hit with my husband and daughter, and it was super easy.The beauty of it is you can totally customize it to your taste (be sure to check out some variations at the bottom of the post). Here is how I went about it.
Chicken Burrito Bowls- serves 4
4 cups cooked and seasoned seasoned brown rice*
4 cups diced left-over roast chicken, reheated gently in the microwave
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
3/4 cups black beans, rinsed and drained
Your favorite prepared tomato-based salsa
Low-Sodium Chicken broth
1 teaspoon taco seasoning**
1 cup shredded cheese (Cheddar, Colby-Jack, Jalapeno-Jack, )
diced avocado -optional
chopped fresh cilantro-optional
diced fresh tomato-optional
sliced geen onions-optional
1. Cook rice according to package directions, substituting salsa for one fourth of the liquid called for and using chicken broth in place of remaining amount of water called for.
2. When rice is done, stir in corn, black beans and 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro (optional). Remove pot from burner and keep covered until ready to use..
3. Sprinkle diced chicken with taco seasoning; stir to evenly distribute.
4. Into each of the 4 bowls, place 1 cup of the rice. Make a well in the middle of the rice. Into the well place the chicken.
5. Drizzle about 1/4 cup of your prepared salsa on top of chicken then sprinkle each bowl with cheese
6. If desired microwave bowls to melt cheese (or if bowls are oven-proof, feel free to place them under broiler to melt). Top with your favorite garnishes as listed above. Serve with a nice green salad and some fresh fruit.
Variations: Shrimp burrito bowl- Saute 1 pound thawed, peeled and de-veined shrimp tossed with 2-3 teaspoons of taco seasoning in a skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive or coconut oil just until opaque. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 lime over the top. Toss to coat. Substitute for chicken.
Beef Burrito Bowl: cook 1 pound of ground beef in skillet until browned. Stir in 3 tablespoons taco seasoning (or to taste) and 1 cup of water (if using store bought seasoning, follow package directions). Simmer, stirring until water is evaporated and meat is thoroughly seasoned, about 10-15 minutes, adding more water as needed. Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly. Substitute for chicken.
Re-fried Beans: Add 1/2 cup of re-fried beans that have been heated to the bottom of the bowl before adding in chicken.Season if desired with taco seasoning. Or for vegetarian option, use re-fried beans in place of meat; substitute vegetable broth for chicken broth in rice.
* Different brands may call for different liquid to rice ratios, so be sure to follow the instructions for cooking rice on the package you are using. You want it to yield 4 cups cooked, approximately.
** Taco seasoning: I make my own, but you can use store bought, if you prefer.
1 Tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Place all ingredients in a bowl. Whisk or stir together well to evenly combine. Recipe can be easily doubled or tripled. Store any leftovers in an airtight container for future use. Stir before using.