My good friend MJ is a chef and blogger extraordinaire, and the inspiration for my sporadic “Just Getting Started”blogs. Often she posts recipes which I borrow, make (following the recipe, kinda sorta) and share. This past Monday we served dinner to our wine group of twelve, and MJ’s Firehouse Chicken was such a hit that her recipe went viral. Everyone wanted a copy.
Tonight, I tried something new, which both John and thought was terrific. For lack of a better name, I am calling it Mexican Chicken, but someone with a better imagination can give it another name.
Often when I cook, I glance at a recipe, get the gist, and then go off on a tangent to make it my own. (That’s because I do NOT bake. Baking requires precise, chemistry class-like measurements and calculations. I did poorly in high school chemistry, and thank God, never had to study the subject in college.)
So tonight, I took stock of what was sitting in the fridge and on cupboard shelves. I surveyed my collection of cookbooks and grabbed a little used book by Kathi Long, titled Mexican Light Cooking. I had some chicken breasts and four corn tortillas. What could I do with them? Kathi Long provided some inspiration, and I tweaked a couple of her recipes to come up with this one. I think it could easily be doubled or tripled. This served the two of us, with more than generous portions. I think I could have fed four with this recipe. But I served no dessert.
2 portion sized Perdue chicken breasts, one fresh lime, 4 corn tortillas, 1 clove garlic, crushed, one half small yellow onion, diced, one quarter fresh red pepper, diced,
1 tsp. oregano, 3 tsp parsley, one half can corn, 1 can Rotel original diced tomatoes with green chilies, one half can refried beans, one half cup shredded cheddar cheese.
2 tablespoons olive oil, PAM spray
In a glass bowl, marinate the two chicken breasts in a mixture of 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, one tablespoon olive oil, sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste, one crushed garlic clove, (I use jarred minced garlic) and 1 tsp oregano. Let it sit, covered with plastic wrap, at room temperature for about 25 minutes. Flip the chicken over once to make sure marinade mixture covers all the chicken.
Meanwhile, saute the onion and red pepper in a small amount of olive oil for a few minutes before adding the mixture to a drained can of Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies, a tablespoon of freshly squeezed lime juice, and half can of corn. Mix well, adding salt and pepper to taste. Add parsley. Put aside to let flavors blend. This will become your tortilla salsa topping.
Preheat the oven to 375. Remove the chicken from the marinade. Discard the marinade. Sear the chicken in a small amount of olive oil in a frying pan at medium high heat for about 3 minutes per side.
Remove seared chicken from frying pan and place each breast in oven safe glass baking dish. Bake chicken for 30 minutes.
Spray each side of the corn tortillas with Pam cooking spray and place on a cookie sheet. After the chicken has baked for 20 minutes, put the tortillas in the oven. They will crisp in ten minutes.
Remove chicken from oven and let it sit for about five minutes. Remove tortillas from oven and spread a couple of tablespoons of refried beans over each tortilla. Top with shredded cheddar cheese. Return to oven until cheese melts.
Slice each chicken breast into bite sized medallions.
Remove topped tortillas from the oven and place two on a serving plate. Top with salsa. Arrange chicken medallions on either side of the tortillas. Put a dollop of sour cream in the center of the plate.