Saturday, May 26, 2012

SW Style Crock Pot Chicken and Cheater Salsa #2

A few months back I tried a simple and new meal: chicken, rice, and beans.  I mixed in some taco seasoning and baked it.  It didn't turn out great on my first attempt but I loved the idea so I tried again and added a can of diced tomatoes and green chilies.  So yummy!  Unfortunately, my boys didn't like it.  At all.
I tried various different things to improve it.  Used pinto beans instead of black beans.  Added salsa.  Added chicken broth to make it moister.  Mixed in some nacho cheese.  Used shredded chicken instead of chicken chunks.  Some attempts were definitely better than others.  Simon never liked it.  Tony always found it "meh."
I had all but given up until I tried this.  My thought process?  Make the chicken and beans separate from the rice.  Then Simon and Tony can eat it however they want and I can have my beloved chicken, rice and beans.  Genius!  And it worked great.  Simon had his as chips and dip without rice.  Tony ate his with a little rice on tortillas.  And I had chicken , rice and beans.  And it was fantastic!

You'll need:
2-3 chicken breasts (about a pound)
1 packet taco seasoning (or make your own)**
1 can corn, drained
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies
2 cans beans, rinsed (I used 1 can pinto and 1 can black)

Put all your ingredients in your crock pot.  Cook on low for 8-10 hours or so.  The chicken should fall apart easily.  Mine pulled apart with my kitchen tongs.

Serve over rice, with chips, in tortillas or however you like it.  I like to serve mine over rice with a little cheddar cheese on top.
And chips and cheater salsa on the side.

Here's version 2 of my cheater salsa...

You'll need:
1 bunch of cilantro
3 cans of fire roasted tomatoes with green chilies
1/2 an onion
2 cloves of garlic
salt to taste

Pull a good chunk of the stems out of the cilantro -- it blends better that way -- and put all your ingredients into a blender or food processor.  (It's a good idea to put the onion, garlic, and cilantro on the bottom since they need the most chopping.)  Pulse until everything is mixed and your onion/cilantro looks decently chopped.  Pour into a bowl and enjoy.

The original cheater salsa recipe can be found here.  I like them both but the fire roasted tomatoes do add a fuller flavor to the it.  My boys don't really care.  They just like my cheater salsa.

**I rarely buy taco seasoning since it's so easy to make.  Here's my easy recipe:
4 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 heaping tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika (optional but delicious)

You can find TONS of variations on this basic recipe online but this is what I usually stick to since I nearly always have all the ingredients on hand.

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