Mar 20, 2014

Creamy Salsa Chicken

My friend Erin brought this meal after my third baby was born.  Today I'm taking it to a new mom.  I love that this recipe yields a lot of food, has real ingredients, and best of all most people like it (even my pickiest kid!)

There are many variations when making this recipe.  It just depends on your likes, preferences, and let's face it: what's in the pantry or fridge.

The basic outline is:

 - chicken
 - beans
 - salsa
 - corn
 - cream cheese

Here's how I made it recently.

Cook a whole chicken (mine was about 4.5 pounds) in a crock pot until the meat is falling off the bones.  Mine was still partially frozen when I started at 8am.  I turned it to high then turned it off around 2pm.  I probably would have turned it off sooner but I was away from home from 11-2.

Debone the chicken, saving the bones to make broth.  You could also cook the chicken on low over night and debone first thing in the morning.  And let your broth simmer all day.

If you're in a hurry to get dinner on the table, mix everything else in a stock pot for the stovetop and stir until warm through.  Since it was 2pm, I put it all back the crock pot and stirred every hour or so until dinner.

More details

I used black beans that I'd soaked and boiled earlier in the day.  I just kept adding them until it looked like the ratio I wanted.  If you're using cans, I would plan for 3 or so cans, rinsed and drained.  Of course a mixture of beans would be great, too - pinto, kidney - whatever fits your fancy. Another option is to use only part of the chicken and save the rest for another meal, which would minimize the amount of beans but also leftovers.

As for the corn, I am so fortunate because my mom grows and freezes the corn for me!  If you don't have that option, then buy a bag of frozen sweet corn.  I recommend organic since corn is a very popular GMO.

On hand I had a 16 oz jar of salsa but it wasn't quite enough.  So I added another 15 oz can of diced tomatoes.  It would have been even better if I'd used 28oz.  Or more salsa.  Use what's in the pantry.  If you use tomatoes, be sure to add additional flavor like chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder (or fresh).

I used 1.5 bricks of cream cheese but two whole ones would have made it even creamier.  If using less chicken, one block will suffice.

Taste, salt, and adjust.  This recipe is really about ratios and what your taste buds like.

Optional if you want to get fancy:
I had some frozen diced peppers that I added, as well as a chopped onion that I quickly sautéed with 4-5 cloves of garlic.  Serve with avocado or guacamole.  And of course some kind of ferment.  We enjoy radish relish and banana peppers with Mexican food.

Serve with rice made in bone broth.


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