Posts Tagged ‘chicken’

Super Fast Mexican Chicken and Rice

While I am most certainly committed to making the healthiest and nutritional foods I can for my family I am also all about quick and easy.  Like most moms, I’m a busy lady.  I’ve got a list of stuff to do a mile long and a list of stuff I want to do about ten miles long.  *sigh* It is what it is. 

So when I find a recipe that I love or just want to try, it never fails that I will use whatever shortcuts I can to make it easier, cleaner, and quicker.  So when I came across this recipe for a crock pot version chicken burrito bowl, I was all set to throw it in the crock pot yesterday morning.  (That’s my kinda easy!)              Only… I forgot. 

So at 3 o’clock in the afternoon I realized that I was gonna have to do the stove top version.  But by 4:30, 30 minutes before the mister arrives home, I just knew I was putting off this meal because I didn’t want to cut up a crudload of chicken breast to feed the seven of us.  (ugh.  I hate raw meat.)  So what did I do?  I did what I do best – improvise and fly by the seat of my pants. 

My two big changes for this recipe – instant rice (What would I do without you, instant rice?  My family would never eat rice if it wasn’t for you!)  and canned chicken.

Here’s my take on this fabulous recipe.  One pot and quicker than just about anything else I have ever cooked.   

*note – anytime you substitute ingredients, especially quick versions, I admit you always lose some quality.  So please, please, make sure you try these two original recipes here and here.  I KNOW they are better than mine.*

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans of canned chicken breast, drained
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 5 – 5 1/2 cups of instant white rice
  • 1  (28.5 oz.) can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 (16 oz.) jar of chunky salsa
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans black beans, drained
  • 1 (15 oz.) can whole kernal corn, drained
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • approx. 2 cups of chicken broth (enough liquid to make the mixture juicy but not covering all the ingredients)
  • colby shredded cheese for garnish
  • optional garnishes include avocado, green onions, salsa, spicy ranch dressing, sour cream

First of all – this makes a TON.  There’s seven of us and we’re pretty hungry people.  All the time.  But honestly, we ended up eating about 2/3 of this and had the rest for lunch the next day.  It was still just as yummy at lunch too, by the way.

Cooking instructions:

With 1 tablespoon of olive oil, sauté the onions for a few minutes. 

Add the chicken and spices, plus a few turns on the grinders of salt and pepper.  This goes quick.  Stir it all together so that the chicken is nicely coated.  Keep it moving or it will burn.  I find adding the spices at this point does a lot for the flavor of the chicken. 

Next, move your chicken to one side and add the other tablespoon of oil then the rice.  Stir the rice to coat it with oil and get it warm.  Blend in with the chicken. 

Add your tomatoes and salsa and stir. 

Add the beans and corn to the mix. 

At this point, add enough chicken broth to make the mixture moist and juicy but not soupy.  This might take some practice to get right because I imagine it’s knowledge that only comes from cooking lots of instant rice.  *yes, I am THAT girl.*

Put the lid on let it cook on low heat.  Give it a stir every few minutes for about 10 minutes.  Turn off the heat and let it sit on the stove until the rice is done.  Now is a good time to prepare your garnishes and get the dishes ready.  By the time you finish that your meal will be all done!

 

This is seriously super fast.  I was really surprised at how quick it was ready and ended up letting it sit awhile so we could finish up an activity.  Oops!  Miscalculation on my part!  Better than late, right?

If you give this a try let me know what you think.  If you change something, I’d love to know what you did differently.  I’m always up for new recipes.  And don’t forget to check out Melissa’s original recipes at No. 2 Pencil!

A Soup Recipe…

We eat a lot of soup around here.  In the spring when the weather tends to be fickle and often wet and cold, soup seems like the perfect answer to combat the cold.  Here lately, I’ve been doing some experimenting with chicken soups.  Traditionally, I’ve never been real keen on chicken soup of any kind.  In fact, as a kid it was my least favorite soup.  So this new interest was a shocker to me when I found myself going back again and again to it.   

It all started when a good friend brought me some chicken soup on an afternoon that found our entire household under the weather.  Of course, I was very grateful for such a thoughtful service from my dear friend.  I heated the soup up in a pot and served it to my family that evening and was surprised at how much I really, really, enjoyed it.  Like I said, chicken soup was not my thing.  But this… this was delicious.  And perfect for all of our sicklies.  I loved the broth.  I loved the chunks of chicken.

Immediately, I began deconstructing this bowl of deliciousness so I could duplicate it and from here I became obsessed with making the perfect chicken soup.  Since then I’ve created several versions and have discovered a few favorite ingredients that give excellent results every time. 

Today I’m going to share with you my ‘must haves’ for chicken soup and give you a recipe to try out for yourself. 


The Soup

 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 2 large leeks with an inch of green, cut lengthwise, washed, and sliced
  • 2-3 large celery stalks with the tops, sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 cups of water
  • 4 tsp.Orrington Farms chicken broth base
  • 4 cups chicken stock  ( you can also use 8 cups of water total with 1/3 cup of broth base and completely omit the chicken stock)
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed in bite size pieces
  • about 4 ounces of Mrs. Miller’s Pot Pie Squares
  • 14.5 ounce can of peas & carrots
  • 12.5 ounce can of cooked chicken breast
  • 3 green onions

 

Melt a stick of butter in a pot over a medium flame.  The butter is favorite ingredient #1.  Don’t tell me it’s bad for you.  Don’t tell me it’s fattening.  Just put the butter in the pot and watch it melt.   This will give your soup a delicious, rich flavor and will season your veggies so well you won’t need to add any salt or pepper.  

Toss in the leeks, fave #2, and let them soften for a few minutes.  Leeks are great for chicken soup.  It’s one of those veggies that tends to be completely ignored by the American masses. That, my friend, is a real shame because leeks can add wonderful texture and flavor to soups, especially chicken soup and potato soup. 

Now, toss in your celery and let it go for another couple minutes.  Toss your garlic in and only give it a minute or two before the broth.  You don’t wanna burn it and if you don’t watch it, it’ll be brown before you realize it. 

Now here’s where the magic happens.  Put your broth base into the bottom of a large measuring cup.  You will want Orrington Farms Broth Base chicken flavor, favorite #3. You will find it in my amazon store in packs of 3, but you can probably pick it up at your local grocer.  Don’t skimp on this.  The flavor in this broth base is out of this world.  It will make your chicken soup. So anyway, stir in the amount of warm water you are using depending on your choice to use stock or not.  Either way is up to you, but the stock will give your soup a little less richness.  Some people like that.  Stir the broth base until it is mixed well with the water, then add it to the soup. 

IMG_2175Bring it to a boil.  Throw in your potatoes and the pot pie squares.  Pot pie squares – favorite #4.  Mrs. Miller’s Old Fashioned Pot Pie Squares.  I like the one inch size.  I buy these from my local produce co-op, but you may be able to find them in a store near you and, of course, in my amazon store.  Bring this all to a boil.  When you’ve got a good boil, lower the heat to a steady simmer and cook until the potatoes and noodles are tender. 

Add the can of peas, the chicken and green onions. A word about the chicken here.  I hate canned meat. With a passion.  Any type of canned soup, or any other canned food with meat in it is just disgusting to me.  You can imagine my great surprise to learn that canned chicken in this soup was actually good for eating.  I’ve learned also that the grade and brand of the chicken does not make much difference in this type of soup.  It’s the broth that does the work all the way through the soup and makes even the cheapest can of chicken taste wonderful. 

Heat this through and serve.  

 

You can take these special ingredients and pair them with a variety of veggies to make a flavorful chicken soup.  Use your imagination and share your favorite here in the comments. 

-knittingprose

a new recipe…

photo by Luca Baroncini Since I’ve been non-existent in the blogging world during hibernation season, I thought I might peek my head out into the wild web and offer a cozy soup recipe I worked up this afternoon. 

I boiled some chicken for a pot pie and had this lovely stock leftover.  I just couldn’t stand to let it go to waste, so I kept it for a soup.  This afternoon I threw some veggies and pasta into the pot and out come a yummy dish that my kiddos slurped up even though it had “yucky” foods in it.  : )

Ingredient:

  • chicken stock – I think I probably had about 8 cups in there.  Maybe more.
  • whole wheat spiral pasta– 1/2 a bag so it was probably about 8 oz.
  • fresh mushrooms – 6 or 7  button size
  • carrots – about 5
  • potatoes – roughly 1 1/2 lbs. cubed
  • 1 can of black eyed peas
  • 4 green onions, chopped

The chicken stock had a little salt substitute and dried minced onion in it to start out.  I chopped up the green onions, mushrooms and added them as the stock was heating up.  When I got a good boil going, I threw in the carrots followed by the pasta, then potatoes.  I let this boil for a few minutes, added the black eyed peas and then reduced to a simmer.  This probably simmered for 30 – 45 minutes. 

photo by Luca Baroncini

 

At dinnertime some of us added a bit of chicken to our bowls of soup but really it was just as wonderful without it. 

If you give it a try, let me know what you think. 

*photos courtesy of Luca Baroncini

a new recipe…

photo by Luca Baroncini Since I’ve been non-existent in the blogging world during hibernation season, I thought I might peek my head out into the wild web and offer a cozy soup recipe I worked up this afternoon. 

I boiled some chicken for a pot pie and had this lovely stock leftover.  I just couldn’t stand to let it go to waste, so I kept it for a soup.  This afternoon I threw some veggies and pasta into the pot and out come a yummy dish that my kiddos slurped up even though it had “yucky” foods in it.  : )

Ingredient:

  • chicken stock – I think I probably had about 8 cups in there.  Maybe more.
  • whole wheat spiral pasta– 1/2 a bag so it was probably about 8 oz.
  • fresh mushrooms – 6 or 7  button size
  • carrots – about 5
  • potatoes – roughly 1 1/2 lbs. cubed
  • 1 can of black eyed peas
  • 4 green onions, chopped

The chicken stock had a little salt substitute and dried minced onion in it to start out.  I chopped up the green onions, mushrooms and added them as the stock was heating up.  When I got a good boil going, I threw in the carrots followed by the pasta, then potatoes.  I let this boil for a few minutes, added the black eyed peas and then reduced to a simmer.  This probably simmered for 30 – 45 minutes. 

photo by Luca Baroncini

 

At dinnertime some of us added a bit of chicken to our bowls of soup but really it was just as wonderful without it. 

If you give it a try, let me know what you think. 

*photos courtesy of Luca Baroncini