Fiction Writing and Other Oddities

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Supper Time - Quick Mexican Chicken

We love Mexican food, but so much of it takes a long time to make and seems a little, well, complicated. Last night, we found out at the last minute that hubby had to go to a meeting, so I needed to make a quick dinner. The following is one of our favorite meals because I can make it in 30 minutes (or less) and ironically, it is composed of recipes that I made up!

I kept thinking that there had to be an easier, faster way to make Mexican-like food. That notion, compounded with the fact that I've been watching cooking shows like Chopped, Good Eats, and a bunch of others, gave me the courage to try my hand at creating my own dish. Chopped is especially good for building your courage because frankly, if someone can take a basket of foods that really don't go together and make a cohesive dish, why maybe I can too!

When I have more time (or am better organized) I also make the corn tortillas to go with this because that's just water and the tortilla flour, which I stir together, roll out with a drinking glass, and cook quickly on my cast iron skillet. I didn't have time last night, though, and with the beans and rice, we really didn't need them.

So here is what we had for our quick supper last night. Note that you'll want to get the rice started first (unless you're using 5 minute rice) because it takes the longest to cook, depending upon the variety you select.

Black Beans - those were from a can, so I didn't do anything there except open a can. We like the black beans you can find in the Mexican food aisle, so that's what we had. See? I said this was an easy, fast meal.

Easy Mexican Chicken
2-3 (or more--you can increase/decrease as needed) skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut up into 1 or 2" pieces
2 tomatillos, chopped into large chunks
1 tsp minced garlic
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 bell pepper, roughly chopped
1 (15 oz) can of chopped tomatoes (I like fire roasted)
1 handful of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, minced + 1 tsp of the sauce (I put the rest into a freezer bag and mush it into a thin layer so I can break off pieces later, and freeze it.)
2 Pinches of cloves per chicken breast
2 Pinches of cinnamon per chicken breast
1 tsp cumin (or more, to taste)

Sprinkle the chicken breasts with the cloves, cinnamon, and cumin, then cut up the chicken. Please note that you can add more or less of every ingredient to fit your tastes. We really like spices and garlic, so we tend to add a lot more than I've mentioned above. I don't measure it, I just sprinkle the spices directly on the breasts and then cut up the chicken.

In a frying pan over medium heat, melt 1 Tbsp butter and 1Tbsp olive oil together. When it is hot, add the chicken chunks and cook until the chicken loses its pinkness. Add the garlic, chipotle chili and adobo sauce. Stir for about a minute.

Remove the chicken to a bowl and add the onions and bell pepper to the same frying pan and cook until the onions are clear, about 2-3 minutes.

Add the chicken and any juices that have accumulated in the bowl back into the frying pan with the veggies. Add the can of chopped tomatoes. Let this simmer over med/med low heat until the liquid is reduced by half. This takes about 5 minutes or so.  Right before serving, add the chopped, fresh cilantro.

You can "dress this up" with guacamole, or sour cream, or both, or neither. :) If you have time to make/buy tortillas, you can wrap this chicken up in the tortillas. You can even use this as the filling for chicken enchilladas, which are really good, too!

Yummy Rice
You can use any rice for this, including instant/five minute rice. I prefer brown jasmine rice, but we've used this recipe with every kind of rice there is.

1 minced shallot or 1 Tbps minced onion
1 tsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp butter
1 c. rice
chicken broth (usually 2 1/2 c. but you should use the amount of broth listed on the rice package)

In a saucepan, melt the butter and then add the minced shallot/onion and garlic. Cook over med low heat until the shallot/onion turns clear. Add the cup of rice to the butter/shallot/garlic and cook over med to med/low heat until the rice starts to brown.

Add the appropriate amount of chicken broth using the proportions on the package of rice. Bring to a boil then put the lid on.

Finish cooking according to the package directions regarding time.

This makes a great rice that is super with Mexican food as well as curries, etc.
For curry, you can add things like diced apricots or raisins and add about 1/4 c. more broth than the rice package calls for, to allow for moisture absorption by the dried fruit.

That was "what was for supper" last night and it was tasty. :)

My latest book, a paranormal romance called A Fall of Silver, is getting great reviews, too, so yesterday was a pretty good day!

A woman bent on the destruction of all vampires discovers redemption in the arms of an ex-priest determined to save the undead.   


The only good vampire is a dead vampire: that’s Quicksilver’s philosophy and she sees no reason to change it. In fact, she’s about to kill one of the undead when Kethan Hilliard confronts her, promising peace and redemption for both vampires and humans in exchange for an end to the slaughter.

But Quicksilver knows that’s not going to happen.

Someone is killing humans and vampires, and sweet words aren’t going to end the nightmare.
The events awaken terrible secrets from Quicksilver’s past, and she’s not about to repeat her previous mistakes. This time, she’s going to end the madness and silence the horror, forever.

Note to readers who are curious about the title: The title has to do with the weapons the heroine, Quicksilver, carries. She uses specially crafted whips to defend herself against the undead and the "fall" is the part of a whip near the end. It's usually about 24" long and the "popper" or "cracker" at the very tip is attached to the fall. Whips are incredibly accurate and even deadly in the hands of an expert and Quicksilver is definitely an expert.

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