So. A lot has changed in the past week. I was let go from my day job as a sweater designer, and have been kind of at a loss as to what to do with myself, and I have been sick and just feeling rather down. I am applying for other jobs, but its hard times out there right now. I have always used cooking as a kind of meditation. It is my Zen place after a long day. This was the meal that brought me back to life yesterday.
Inspired by my friend Jamie, I went with a slow cooker salsa chicken that couldn’t be easier, and super delcious when served with Tapatio sour cream… and paired it with some nice baked plantains and a roasted pepper salad with beautifully colored red onions and radishes.
Serves – The chicken serves 4, everything else is for 2, because half of the chicken is destined for other things. So keep that in mind!
Nutrition – YES MA’AM!
4 chicken breasts, trimmed of fat and halved
2 cups of your favorite salsa
4 TB fresh squeezed lime juice
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 poblano pepper
1 anaheim green chile pepper
4 red radishes
1/2 red onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 TB olive oil
S & P to taste
2 yellow plantains
1 TB olive oil
S & P to taste
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
Tapatio or favorite hot sauce
So, this chicken couldn’t be easier. Just take your chicken breast halves and layer them in the pot with the salsa and set on high for 3 1/2 hours. Reserve the remainder of the ingredients for the chicken until after it has cooked. I used store bought this time to save money and because I felt like fresh wouldn’t provide as much flavor as you would want here. In my case, that is because for regular salsa, I prefer a super simple, clean salsa… you can find my salsa recipe here. It is also very cilantro heavy and I wanted the cilantro flavor to come from the salad, so that was also a reason to use store-bought as well. Now you have some free time! I decided to use the first 2 1/2 hours of cook time to knit, which I missed having time to do! YAY. Then head back to the kitchen, its time to roast your peppers!
There are a lot of ways to roast peppers. My favorite way is with actual fire. Just torch the living bajesus out of them until they are black and bubbly and then put them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator to cool and loosen the skin. This will take an hour or so. In the meantime, cut the plantains in to discs. Toss the plantains in olive oil, salt and pepper and place in one layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes and then flip and bake another 20-25. This will make a nice thick plantain chip. If you want smushier plantains, cut them thicker and flatten with a spatula when you flip. During the first round of these baking, thinly slice the radishes and cut into quarters. Then slice about 4 rings of your onion and quarter these as well. Toss in a bowl with olive oil, salt, pepper and cilantro.
Spread this on to another baking sheet and put in the oven after you flip the plantains. There should be approx 20-25 minutes left on both, but don’t let either burn. Your chicken should beep in about 10 minutes if you time everything right, so go ahead and juice your lime and stir in the cumin and chili powder. When the slow cooker is done, add the mixture and set to cook for 15 more minutes. now take your peppers out of the fridge, pull the tops to remove stem and seeds in one fluid movement and then peel off the skin. Slice lengthwise in to strands and toss on the baking sheet with the radishes for the final 5 minutes, just to heat a little. Then take both trays out, your dinner is ready! Stir your salad up in a bowl and plate your chicken and plantains.
Mix 2 TB of your favorite hot sauce with 1/2 cup of sour cream and place a dollop on top! I think dollop might be one of my favorite measurements.
Now, the plated photo is pretty and everything, but let’s get real. That’s not how I am eating this. I am going to shred the chicken with my fork (thank you slow cooker) and smash it in to the salad and make a plantain border to soak up all the yummy juices and flavors and eat it in one big ugly pile o happiness while settling in for Game of Thrones!! YAY!
And THEN I made dessert. Coconut milk ice cream with carmelized pineapples. Coming right up.
Consensus – This meal turned my whole world around. it brought me out of the dumps. The minimal dairy and high spice helped my sinuses feel better, and the variety of healthy ingredients and preparation made me feel like I had done something good for my body, which I definitely needed. Something to feel good about.
4.4 Update – For wonderful leftovers, shred a chicken breast and heat and mix with leftover radish and roasted pepper salad and melt some cheese on a tortilla…
top with corn cooked with pimentos, cilantro, S & P, black beans, sour cream, lettuce, and whatever else you enjoy! Love me some revamped leftovers! This recipe is going in to regular rotation ASAP!