Saturday, October 8, 2011

lazy bachelor's cookbook - southwest style chicken

Welcome to another installment of the Lazy Bachelor's Cookbook. I bought a crock pot this week to up my laziness in the kitchen quotient to nearly pro levels. For this go round, I made a southwest style chicken with cornbread muffins. The cornbread came from a box so just go out and buy some if you want to make them. I'll focus on the chicken recipe. First, I'll give you the recipe I found and then explain how I went off the rails to spice it up and what I would do next time.

Southwest Style Chicken
4-5 frozen chicken breasts[1]
1x 15.5oz can of black beans
1x 15oz can of corn (drained)
1x 15oz jar of salsa
1x 8oz package of cream cheese

Like most crock pot recipes, you dump all the ingredients except the cream cheese into your crock pot and cook on high for 4-5 hours. Then you dump in the cream cheese and cook for another 30 minutes or so until it melts.

I selected a chipotle salsa. In addition, I also threw in some cumin, cayenne pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper to give it more of a southwest or texmex flavor. I also chopped up half an onion and threw that in. Before adding the cream cheese, I used a pair of forks to shred the chicken breasts. The cream cheese didn't melt for me after 30 minutes so I ended up mixing it in.

The results were pretty good. It turned out to be more of a stew than I was expecting but the taste was good. I'm definitely glad I decided to call on audible on this one and throw in the spices to up the flavor. The corn bread made a nice pairing especially for sopping up the remainders on my plate.

Next time I think I would throw in a jalapeno pepper or two and substitute sour cream for the cream cheese. But saying that I would cook this again is the highest compliment I can pay to a recipe. It's not the most delicious thing I've ever put in my mouth but it's tasty, spicy (if you follow my lead), and filling. I could also see it being included as the filling for a southwest style chicken pot pie or maybe chicken tacos

It's a very simple recipe requiring little prep work. I'd say I only spent about 10 minutes chopping the onion, opening cans, and tossing in spices. After that, it's all about the waiting. Plus, I have tons of leftovers. I warmed some up in my toaster oven today for lunch and it was still pretty yummy.

The lazy bachelor was pleased.

UPDATE: I cooked this again but added some cayenne, chili powder, and sour cream to the mix. The spicy kick it gave the chicken pleased my Tex-Mex palate. I also cooked it significantly longer. Maybe if you thawed the chicken instead of using frozen breasts it would turn out to be less like a stew. That's something to consider for next time.

[1] I just tossed them in frozen as called for in the recipe. Some people have said cooking frozen chicken in a crock pot is a no-no but I don't know. I haven't gotten sick but YMMV. Do what you think is best.

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