Thursday, September 1, 2011

Redefining Simple

Good evening everyone! We're sweating it out, once again in 98 degree heat and 90% humidity, hopefully for the last time for this summer. Tonight, we're rounding out the summer with a fiesta for your mouth - a sort of 'end of summer party'. Not only is it a great Mexican dish, but it's so easy, it's would take something going terribly wrong to mess the recipe up. Since I have a tendency to do so, I hope that this evening that prophecy won't come true...again.

The Recipe: Easy Skillet Chicken
Original Recipe Found In:

What You'll Need:
4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 Tablespoon Canola Oil
1X 16 Ounce Jar of Salsa
1X 15 Ounce Can of Black Beans, rinsed
1X 11 Ounce Can of Mexican Corn*
1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Tyler's Note: *Mexican corn is usually found in the 'hispanic' section of your grocery store. It's actually a mixture of corn, red peppers and some variations include coconut oil, jalapenos or other spicy additions. For this recipe, we found a brand of salsa that included black beans, Mexican corn and of course - the salsa. If you can track down a salsa with all of the above ingredients, we'd recommend substituting that in place of each individual ingredient. 

What we're creating here is actually the 'mirepoix' of the Mexican culinary world. Like carrots, celery and onion make up the base of 90% of French dishes, black beans, corn and salsa make up the frame work of many Mexican dishes. From salsa to seasonings, you're likely to find this trio as the base in a majority of what you're cooking.

Begin by heating the canola oil in a medium skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the chicken and cook until lightly browned on both sides, about 4-5 minutes on each side. Add the salsa, corn, and beans and stir until they are all equally incorporated. (Here's where using the pre-mixed salsa is a nice bonus!)

Bring the salsa mixture to a simmer and cover. Simmer over medium high heat for five minutes until the chicken is cooked throughout. You may want to stir every few minutes to make sure the salsa doesn't overly brown or stick to the skillet. Use an instant read thermometer to verify that the chicken has reached a perfect 165 degrees. Top with cheese and remove from heat. Cover and let it stand for five minutes until cheese is completely melted. Serve and enjoy!!

The Results:

This turned out to be a really tasty dish. The cooking time that the recipe gave for the chicken turned out to be perfect.  I'll admit, I was kind of surprised because chicken takes a little longer to cook.  But, cooking it by itself first, then adding the salsa and cooking it a little longer, not only infused the flavor of the salsa but made it more savory.  The salsa was actually quite spicy for both of our likings - if we were to do it again, a MILD version of the salsa would be needed.  But the flavors from the salsa were over the top and made it a delight to eat.  Overall, the chicken was cooked perfectly, the flavors melded together wonderfully, and the cheese was a nice touch at the end.

That's all we have for you this week - and for the next week as well. Maggie and are heading out for a little vacation. It's been 1 year since we became husband and wife (well, it will be one year on 9/4) and we're taking a week off from work to celebrate (and for our own sanity). We plan on returning to blogging the week of September 12th - we likely will start off with a recipe rather than a trip around the culinary world - but plans can change. Follow us on Twitter or 'Like' our Facebook page to stay up to date on our return to blogging. Or - you know - stop by the site everyday - that's okay too! See you all in a week!


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