Getting Healthy in an Affordably Delicious Way

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Mexican Fiesta of A Meal!

Okay. If you are a salsa lover, stay tuned. If you are Mexican hater, log off immediately. If you are a cilantro hater- just leave it out! DON'T WRITE OFF THIS RECIPE. Just take out the stuff you don't like if it sketches you out. However, we love Mexican. We love cilantro. And we LOVED THIS DISH. I'll tell you another good way to do the chicken- but the CHICKEN was amazing.

So here's what I made: Chicken with Tomatillo Salsa with Pico de Gallo Rice Pilaf

I got the rice idea from the infamous RACHAEL RAY! And the chicken came from a Best Homes Cookbook, or something like that.

Here's a list of the ingredients you will need for THE WHOLE MEAL:

  • 1 lb chicken breasts (I get thinly sliced breasts because they cook super fast and they taste better to me!)
  • 2 T flour
  • 2 T yellow cornmeal
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 lime (zest reserved, and juice reserved)
  • 1 jalepeno pepper, seeded
  • 13-oz can tomatillos
  • Fresh cilantro
  • 4 plum tomatoes, seeded
  • 1 small onion, chopped, reserve 3 Tablespoons
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat orzo (or white)
  • 1 cup brown rice (or white)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
Now, this list looks intimidating. BUT- you use the ingredients in both dishes, so its easy. AND. If you want to cut costs- top the chicken with a green store-bought salsa. Or even red salsa if you prefer! But the tomatillos were something new to me, and i wanted to try them out! Plus, i love making my own salsa!

You're going to want to start cooking your rice first. It takes about 20 minutes to fully cook. So, first, put a little oil in the bottom of a small pot. Toast your orzo in there about 4-5 minutes until it gets brown and toasty. Add your rice and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and then let it simmer for 18 minutes uncovered.

Meanwhile, get going on the pico de gallo that you will mix into the rice:

Throw in your plum tomatoes, your lime zest, half of a jalepeno pepper, a handful of cilantro, all the onion (except the reserved 3T), and pulse it out in a food processor. Here's what it looks like.... if you've been to a Mexican Restaurant, this should look VERY familiar:

Once thats done, let it sit until your rice and orzo have absorbed all of that broth. Again, that will take about 18 minutes (keep stirring throughout process). Once done, add in your pico de gallo mixture and kind of let it warm for about 2 minutes.

Remove from heat, and cover until chicken is ready!

Lets go! You're gonna get a gallon size zip lock bag- throw the cornmeal, flour, chili powder, and a little pepper. Throw the cutlets in the bag, seal it, and SHAKE IT UP. A lot. Coat them. You want to TASTE that "breading" on the chicken, believe me. Its super good! (I started this process once i was done making the pico de gallo, but still waiting on the rice to finish cooking)

Once they are coated. Throw them in a saute pan with about 2T of oil on the bottom. Use more or less if you like. Let that go about 4-5 minutes per side. 

Meanwhile, get going on your salsa for them. I drained and rinsed the tomatillos, then threw them in a food processor along with half the jalepeno pepper, the lime juice, 3 T of onion, and a little less than a handful of cilantro. Pulse that about 10 seconds.

Put your chicken in a serving pan

Top those tenders with a little homemade salsa (or store bough if thats the way you choose to go!)

How beautiful and easy is this dish?
Serve with your pico de gallo rice and voila! No need to go out and fill up on chips and salsa. Make your own Mexican right at home!

There were no leftovers. NONE. We devoured all of it. ENJOY :)

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