Friday, October 19, 2012

A Tried & True Recipe For You!

I cannot believe I've never shared this recipe before! I mentioned it recently on F@cebook and when I searched my "Notes" there and my archives here, I was seriously flabbergasted to realize that I've never actually typed it all out, proportions and all, to share with you. Forgive my oversight. It's one of the easiest and yummiest things I make from about September through April and is super "tweak-able" to suit your family's tastes and preferences.

(Yes, yes I did. I just made up that word. Tweak-able. Do ya like it?!)

So. A little history on this recipe. I like to call it my favorite "Ooops" of all time. I was trying to make one of my mother-in-law's scrumptious entrees into a crock-pot meal that would be a little friendlier for my schedule and for our health. We were having company and I knew they were okay with my kitchen experiments. (Don't ya just love friends that trust you like that?!) This was back when I was expecting Dr. D. Shaggy was a busy little guy, I was doing a "in home" dried flower and crafting business with a friend and we were fixing up (read: completely renovating!) our first home. So I threw all the main ingredients of my mother-in-law's original recipe into my 90's blue crock-pot and it turned out delish! It didn't look or taste much like the original meal did but we were hooked anyway. We tweaked it according to the ingredients we had on hand but that original version was very high in calorie and fat content.

Cut to several years later, when The Boss was diagnosed with Type II diabetes. Then the tweaking began again in earnest. And really? What came of that attempt to re-work the original is the version we've stuck to the most closely over all these years. I think you'll all enjoy it as much as we do. It makes the house smell amazing while it's cooking and you will LOVE how easy it is. I promise. Now that I think of it, it's incredibly healthy too!

Mexican Chicken and Cornbread

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast
1-2 jars (24 oz.) your favorite salsa, to your preference
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed well (optional)
1 can (15 oz.?) fiesta corn (optional)
         (or 2 cups plain frozen corn)
1 9x9 baked cornbread
2-3 cups sharp Cheddar or Monterey Jack

Lightly spray your crock pot and pour about 1/4 of the salsa into the bottom.  Place all the chicken into the the bottom of the crock pot. Pour the remaining salsa over the chicken. Cover tightly and let it cook for about 4-6 hours on low. If using frozen chicken (which I do all the time!), start it out on high heat and go back and break it up after about an hour or two. Then turn it down to low.

When chicken is cooked through, and about 1 hour before serving, open the crock pot and gently shred the chicken breast with a fork or two. Be careful at this step - it's hot!!! I use one big fork and mash the chunks of chicken up against the side of the crock to do it with the least mess. You can take it out of the crock to shred it on a cutting board if that feels safer to you. Then add the black beans and the corn if you choose. Stir just once or twice once the beans have been added.

If the shredding and the addition of beans and corn thickens the mixture too much, add another 1/2 jar of salsa. Cover again and allow to flavors to blend for another 45-60 minutes.

Cut the cornbread into squares and split them open on a plate or in a shallow stew bowl. Ladle the chicken combination over the open cornbread. Top with shredded cheese, and any of the suggested toppings listed below. Enjoy!!!!

Extra salsa
Sour cream
Chopped tomatoes
Chilies, Jalapenos
Black Olives
Guacamole, etc.


Vicki said...

I'll definitely have to try this. I made your stuffed zucchini and now, that sauce has made its way into numerous dishes at our house. Based on that recipe alone, I'd eat anything that came out of your kitchen! Enjoy your weekend!

Aus said...

Not big on mexican - but this looks doable - and shame on you for posting it after I make my morning blog sweeps! ;)

hugs - aus and co.

Amie said...

You did NOT DISSAPOINT, friend. Gonna have to try this bad boy out!! Going into our recipe rotation next week!


Alison said...

This is my kind of food! Chicken, salsa, corn, beans! Mmmm! One of our favorite combinations!
I usually serve food like this over rice or in a wrap (again, with rice) but I love your idea of smothering some corn bread squares with the mixture! Delicious!