Tag Archives: chicken

Cilantro Lime Chicken Bake

I’m someone who will try almost anything- seriously.  While I’m not as extreme as Andrew Zimmern or even Anthony Bourdain (and yes, Andrew is MUCH more extreme), I’m willing to give something a shot even if it seems weird.  I’m not sure why I’m so open to trying new things- my parents didn’t ever impress upon us that we needed to try everything or give all foods a fair shot; if anything, my mom would often recall her horror at having to eat liver and onions when she was younger, and I remember one particular wedding we attended where they were serving caviar and escargo (for the laymen- fish eggs and snails), and I was warned by my cousins to steer clear of the table.

Nope.  My ability to look past the odd and dive headlong into new waters is purely a ‘me’ thing, I think.  Like liver- I’ve never tried it, but I DO believe that -if its cooked well- perhaps it might not be so bad.  Usually what turns people off to something is texture, anyways, so maybe I’d like it.  If I ever try it, I’ll let you know.

Anyways, I say all this because I DO insist that my kids give all foods a fair shot and not to shoot something down just because it sounds weird or looks odd or has ingredients that won’t seem to work together- and even once they’ve tried something and written it off as “Do not ever eat again”, I STILL will make them try it again in the future.  Why?  Because tastes change.

Case in point- this dish.  I found it off Pinterest and Bug declared before ever taking a bite that he hated it.  Why?  Because it combined chicken and mangoes- a “no-no” in his book.  He fought me for a long time until I finally won the battle with “well, I’m not a short order cook, so you can try it and possibly like it, or you can go to bed hungry.”  In the end, he tasted it and loved it- even going back for seconds… and thirds. (Although, his pride kept him from ever REALLY saying he had been wrong in making a quick judgment.)  This is now one of our family’s favs.  Yeah, its a tad labor intensive, but every once in a while you should throw your clock out the window and just make something that will taste amazing.  This does- trust me.

Cilantro Lime Chicken Bake

Cilantro Lime Chicken Marinade (for 4 chicken breasts)
-3/4 c vegetable oil
-Juice and zest of 2 limes
-2 cloves garlic -2 tsp sugar
-1/2 tsp salt -1/4 tsp black pepper
-1/2 C finely chopped cilantro
*I put everything in blender and have it mix and chop it.

Cilantro Lime Rice
-1 cup uncooked rice
-1 can chicken broth
-1 cup water
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1 Tbls freshly squeezed lime juice
-2 tsp sugar
-3 Tbls finely chopped cilantro
* Throw the rice, broth, water, garlic & some lime juice into a pot and let it cook. I also usually add a tbsp or two of butter to the pot to keep the grains of rice from clumping.  While it’s cooking I mix the sugar, lime juice & cilantro in a bowl. When rice is finished fluff the rice while mixing the sugar mixture into the rice.

Creamy Tomatillo Dressing
-1 batch prepared Ranch Buttermilk Dressing
-3-5 tomatillos (quartered)
-1 handful of cilantro
-1 jalepeno (optional)
-juice of 1 lime
-salt & pepper to taste
*Blend all ingredients in blender and chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
*This ranch is for drizzling on top of each slice of casserole after it’s been cooked right before serving.  And for salads.  And veggies.  And for licking off the spoon…

-You’ll also be using a small container of sour cream, Pepper Jack cheese and prepared Mango salsa. (Or you can make your own.)

Before you do anything, you need to prep the chicken with the marinade.  This makes it so it isn’t a “last minute meal” that you can just whip up, but -once again- its worth it.  And if you do this the night before, it’ll make your life easier the next day- and the flavors will be a LOT more intense.

Next on the list- and you can do this after you’ve prepped the chicken the night before, too- is making the dressing.  Its OH-so-tasty and it makes a LOT, so save it in an old jar in the fridge.  We loved it on salads the next day and with veggies as a snack.

The day of, make the rice and layer it on the bottom of your dish.  Grill your chicken (or cook it in a pan if you don’t have a grill) and shred it.  Put it all on top of the rice (with the exception of those few bites you probably stole while you were shredding).  Slather it all with the sour cream.

Next, cover the sour cream with the mango salsa.  How much you use is your choice, but I suggest making sure the whole dish is COVERED.  Its yummy and you won’t regret it.

Finally, cover the whole thing with a TON of the cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees until heated through (about 20 min). Then turn on broil until the cheese crisps a little.

When serving, drizzle tomatillo dressing on top and ENJOY!

Let me know how you like it!

Heavenly Spaghetti

This has a longer name- one that points out all the great reasons to eat it- but when you break it down, this name just kind of sums up.  I mean, really now, who wouldn’t love something with garlic, chicken, roasted tomatoes…

I’m making myself hungry.

Anyways, since you all know I’m a Pinterest junkie, I found the idea for this off there.  The problem I encountered, though (which, I’m sure you’ve all been in this situation), was I saw the picture, started to drool, and when I clicked on the link, it led to that person’s front page of their blog.  I looked for the ACTUAL recipe everywhere, but all I saw was the picture.  Not cool.

So, I started to mess around and came up with something that made me happy, and -BONUS- it made all the rest of Boystown happy, too.

Heavenly Spaghetti

Ingredients:

~12 oz spaghetti pasta (cooked al dente)

~1 pound chicken breast fillets (sliced into 1 inch chunks) (or 2 large b/s breasts)

For the chicken marinade:

~2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped

~2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped (if using dried, use half of the amount)

~Zest of 1 lemon

~Juice of ½ a lemon

~2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

~1 teaspoon coarse salt (not table salt)

~½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

~1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

~2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (to sauté the marinated chicken)

Add all the marinade ingredients into the chicken and marinade for 20 minutes (if you need this dish right away) or over night (if making this dish the next day… much better).

Saute the marinated chicken in extra virgin olive oil until cooked (about 4-5 minutes) then set aside

For the garlic gravy: (Preheat over to 400 degrees)

~½ stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter

~4 large cloves garlic, finely minced

~2-3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

~2 ½ cups chicken stock

~1 Tablespoon fresh basil, chopped

~salt and pepper to taste

~¼ cup parsley, chopped (to sprinkle/finish the pasta)

~½ cup grated parmesean cheese

~3 cups of cherry tomatoes, halved, or 3 cups of tomatoes, cut into 1 in. diced pieces

Toss the tomatoes lightly with olive oil, salt and pepper on a sheet pan. Spread them out into one layer and sprinkle generously with kosher salt and pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft and slightly carmelized.

Place sauté pan (you used for the chicken) over medium heat. Add enough olive oil to make up 2 tbsp of oil in the pan (if there wasn’t enough left over from cooking the chicken) and add butter.

Saute garlic until fragrant. (About a minute. You don’t want it to burn.)

Add the flour and cook for a minute. You want a 1-1 ratio of oil to flour, so if you think you need to add a little more flour than 2 tbsp to keep that ratio, then do so.

Add chicken stock and simmer gravy until thickened then add the chopped basil.

Season with salt and pepper (if needed).

Add the sauteed chicken and tomatoes in the gravy then toss the cooked spaghetti into this  sauce.

Finish the dish with the chopped parsley and grated parmesan cheese (serve extra on the side).

Now, I’m not one to pat myself on the back, but…

Oh, wait.  Yes I am.  Try this, though, and you’ll be sending me a virtual pat on the back, too.

And, hey- if you like it, let me know and PLEASE pin me.  Tell the world that this recipe rocks!  Yummy goodness like this shouldn’t be hidden.