Friday, January 6, 2012

Chicken Chipotle Veggie Stew

In the winter time, it's nice to have something hot and spicy to warm your tummy. What better than Chicken Chipotle stew. I cooked this before and it was missing a little something, so this time I added veggies making it Chicken Chipotle Veggie Stew! The veggies are optional, and it tastes great both ways! And, I'm going to show you how to cook this soup. I use fresh beans in my stew, but I'm also going to tell you how to make this with beans from a can. It's an easy soup either way! Again, I made a huge stew and have a really big crock pot, so you may want to half this recipe if you're just making it for supper and don't want leftovers. But, if you do have extra, this freezes really well in the freezer if you want to put it in tiny Ziploc bowls and get it out later to heat it up.

Here's what you will need:
Large Slow Cooker
2-2.5 pounds Boneless Skinless Chicken
2 cans (or 28 ounces) stewed tomatoes (Or you can use crushed tomatoes or diced tomatoes)
3 cups dry Black Beans or 2 cans (30 ounces) Black Beans
3 cups dry Navy Beans or 2 cans (30 ounces) Navy Beans
2 medium or 1 large onion(s)
2-3 carrots (optional)
1/2-1 bunch celery (optional)
2-3 chipotle Pepper(s) in Adobo Sauce (depending if you want it spicy or Oh My Gosh That's HOT!)
3 Cups Orange Juice
5 cups Chicken Broth
2-3 teaspoons salt (to taste)
1 Tbsp. Cumin
1 Tbsp dry cilantro
2 bay leaves

If you are using dry beans instead of canned beans, first you need to wash them, check for any rocks, etc... and rinse them in the drainer. Then, soak them in water for up to 6 hours to soften. Then, drain them and leave them in the crock pot, but don't turn it on just yet! If you use canned beans, put them in the strainer and wash the juices away before you add them to the slow cooker.

Next, add the tomatoes and do not drain these, just add tomatoes and juice to the crock pot. Next add the orange juice and chicken broth. Peel and slice the carrots and slice up the celery (both are optional). Peel the onion and dice it (by hand, or low in an electric chopper). Add all of these veggies to the slow cooker. Put the chipotle peppers in an electric chopper on high and dice them finely before you add them to the slow cooker. Next add the salt, cumin and cilantro. Stir it all up. Cube the chicken and add it too. Lightly stir it all up. When it's stirred, add the bay leaves.  

Cover and cook on low 7-8 hours. Or, if you're in a hurry, cook it on high for 4-5 hours until chicken and beans are done. Before serving, make sure you remove both bay leaves.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Chicken with Fruit Salsa

I have to say....Chicken and Fruit go together so well! I have an obsession with pairing pineapple with everything: Chicken, Steak, Hamburger, everything!!! This recipe has pineapple, but it also has an array of fruits and jalapeno for a little added kick! My family LOVES it! It does take a little time to cut up the fruit, but if you do it while the chicken is baking, it doesn't take as long. I like to cook a lot of food at once, so if you're cooking this for just one dinner, you will need to half the recipe.  

Here's what you will need:
8-10 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 mangoes
1 pineapple
2 oranges
1 pear
1 apple
1-2 jalapenos (depending on how much kick you want)
4 Tbsp. lemon juice
8 Tbsp. apple jelly
10-12 oz. fresh cilantro
3 Tbsp. fresh parsley
1/2 cup honey
Glass baking dish
Big mixing bowl

Combine honey, 4 Tbsp. apple jelly and lemon juice in a small microwaveable bowl. Microwave on high until the honey is melted (about 20 seconds) and stir it all up really well.

Put the chicken breasts in a glass baking dish and set the oven on broil. Brush or pour half of the glaze over the chicken. Broil for 6 minutes for thinner breasts or 8 minutes for thicker breasts. Make sure the chicken is about 4-6 inches from the broiler. After the time is up, take chicken out of oven and flip it over to the other side. Then, brush or pour the other half of the glaze on. Broil again for another 6-8 minutes. When you take it out of the oven, make sure the chicken is all the way cooked by cutting a breast in half to make sure.

While the chicken is broiling, you can cut up all the fruit into small pieces. Peel and chop the mango, discarding the core and put it in a big mixing bowl. Peel, seed, and chop the oranges, apple, and pear. Cut the bottom and top and sides off the pineapple and take out the core. Chop up the remaining pieces. Make sure you get all the seeds out of the jalapeno and mince it up into really tiny pieces (I put it in an electric chopper on high speed). I also mince the parsley and cilantro in the electric chopper on low.

If you don't want to use fresh fruits, you can use canned fruits, but this recipe is way better if it's fresh! And, if you can't find fresh parsley and cilantro, you can use the dried kind, just double the amount. 

Combine chopped mango, oranges, pear, apple, jalapeno, pineapple, cilantro, parsley, and 4 Tbsp. apple jelly in a large bowl and mix it all up really well.

By the time you get done chopping the fruit and mixing it all together the chicken should be done. Just make sure to put a timer on it so you won't forget to flip it over and broil the other side. Discard the remaining glaze. Put a piece of chicken on your plate, and Spoon fruit salsa over chicken to serve.