Thursday, September 2, 2010
Mexican Chicken with Jalapeno Popper Sauce! Boy am I knockin' it out of the park with dinner this week. First that amazing Baked Penne with Summer Squash, Tomatoes, and Basil and now this! Not only was this meal delicious, it came together in about 30 minutes. Double score! I first saw this recipe on Kim's blog, Stirring the Pot. She served it over Mark Bittman's Chili Powder Scented Rice. Mmmm. As I was reading her post, I knew that I was going to make this for my family. Kim's post directed me to the creator of this recipe's blog, Mommie Cooks. After making this, I'd have to say that Julie, the author of Mommie Cooks, is a recipe writing genius! The chicken and sauce were absolutely wonderful. I'll definitely make this one again.
Here's how it all came together:
First, fry 3 slices of bacon until crisp.
Remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate, then season some chicken breasts with cumin, chili powder, and salt (I just gave them a good sprinkle of each on both sides) and cook them in that hot bacon fat until they are no longer pink and the juices run clear.
Once cooked, transfer the chicken to a plate and keep em' warm while you make the sauce.
Start with 3 jalapenos, seeded and chopped. Put them right into the skillet where you cooked the bacon and chicken. Cook for a couple of minutes and then toss in 2 cloves of minced garlic and cook for another 30 seconds to a minute.
Now add the chicken broth and deglaze the pan. Bring it to a boil. Julie mentioned that her sauce was too thick and the next time she would add more chicken broth. I started with too much chicken broth. I think that I used around two cups. It was a happy accident because it meant that to reach the consistency of sauce I desired....
I needed to add extra cream cheese. Extra cream cheese + extra broth= extra sauce. And trust me, this sauce is SO yummy, you'll be glad that you have extra. I ended up adding almost a whole block of cream cheese, rather than the recommended half of a block (4 oz.) Overall, this recipe isn't too bad for you...but if you want to lighten it up, use light cream cheese and fat free chicken broth. But I'm not going to recommend cutting out the bacon or draining the fat to cut back the calories. That would just be silly. Bacon is awesome!
Stir or whisk in the cream cheese until it melts and the mixture is smooth.
Then add in the shredded cheese and bacon. After the shredded cheese was melted into the sauce, I cut the heat and stirred in a tablespoon of fresh cilantro.
In the interest of time, I plated mine up with some taco rice (from an instant rice packet...it cooked in 7 minutes) and those new Texas Ranchero Grillin' Beans from Bush's. Good stuff. I love Kim's idea of serving it with Chili Powder Scented Rice, but this was my speedy solution. The end result was better (and less expensive) than going to our favorite Mexican restaurant for dinner. Well, except for that sink full of dishes glaring at me afterward....
Mexican Chicken with Jalapeno Popper Sauce adapted from Mommie Cooks
3 Chicken Breasts
A Sprinkle of Cumin per Breast
A Sprinkle of Chili Powder per Breast
A Sprinkle of Salt per Breast
2 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
3 Jalapenos, Seeded and Chopped
6-8 Oz. of Cream Cheese
2 Cups of Chicken Broth
3 Slices of Bacon
3/4 Cup of Shredded Cheddar or Colby Jack
1 Tbsp of Fresh Cilantro, chopped + more for garnish
Fry bacon until crisp. Remove to paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle chicken with seasonings while the bacon crisps. Add the chicken to the hot bacon fat in the skillet. Cook chicken, turning every few minutes, until juices run clear and no longer pink. Remove from skillet and keep warm. Add chopped jalapenos to the skillet and cook for a couple of minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds to a minute more, until fragrant. Add chicken broth, deglazing pan. Bring to a boil. Add cream cheese and stir until melted and smooth. Add in shredded cheese and bacon, stirring until the cheese in melted. Turn off heat and stir in cilantro. Serve chicken on a bed of Mexican or Taco rice and topped with sauce. Garnish with additional cilantro if desired.
Note: This sauce packs a little heat. Definitely too spicy for my toddler, who happily ate the chicken, rice, and beans, but we skipped the sauce completely. If you have an aversion to spicy food, then back off of the jalapenos. Maybe only add one...or two. : )
For a printable copy of this recipe, please click HERE!