Thursday, September 8, 2011

It; was late, I had chicken and nothing sounded good

What do you do when you rush in at 7:10 and need to have supper on the table in roughly 30 minutes? I had boneless chicken breasts in the fridge and 2 packs of yellow rice in the pantry, so the only question was what to do to it to make it taste good ( Quite frankly I could not bear another broiled chicken with yellow rice and green beans meal)

I decided to do a quick Google search for some delicious chicken recipe and came up blank. In fact nearly every recipe I found with the words quick and delicious took me to something made with cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup. Delicious??? Really??? I thumbed through a couple of old cookbooks I inherited or picked up for a quarter at a yard sale. You know those Favorite Recipes of ( Fill in the blank here. Any church group or organization would work) I have no idea which cookbook this was, for it had no cover and nothing identifying it on the inside of the book. In addition to the aforementioned ingredients I also had 2 cans of tomatoes and okra that I found in the back of the pantry. I decided maybe a chicken gumbo of sorts if I could find a quick and easy recipe. So that was my original search through the cookbook Well I did not find a gumbo but instead found a creole recipe and I seemed to have most of the ingredients on hand. So here goes!

Chicken Creole From some group cookbook from somewhere

Enough oil to coat the bottom of a deep skillet ( Gotta love a cookbook that uses the word skillet)
4 medium chicken breast halves, skinned, boned, and cut into 1inch strips o 1 can tomatoes, cut up
1 cup chili sauce
1 large green peppers, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/4 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoon fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

1.Put the oil in the bottom of the skillet and heat the pan over high heat. Cook chicken in hot skillet, stirring, for 3-5 minutes, or until no longer pink. Reduce heat and add tomatoes and their juice,chili sauce, green pepper, celery, onion, garlic, basil, parsley, crushed red pepper, and salt. Bring to boiling; reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.

What I did differently: First off I did not want chicken strips, because I was serving it on the rice I wanted it to feel more substantial. I cut it in chunks about the size of a standard ice cube. I like the visual weight it gave. Secondly I cut the pepper in strips because Son3 hates bell peppers and it is easier for him to separate them if they are larger. Ditto with the onions. I minced the celery finely because The Hub does not like big chucks of cooked celery. With everyone's oddities taken care of I started tossing things in the pot. Chicken followed by the onions followed by the pepper, followed by the celery and garlic. I prefer the veggies to saute a little rather than just stew. Instead of the tomatoes I tossed in 2 cans of tomatoes and okra ( Because it was already out of the pantry and opened when I found the recipe) I did not have any chili sauce ( I am assuming this means that stuff that is on the top shelf near the ketchup in a grocery store) so I punted and added 1 small can of tomato sauce, about a tablespoon of sugar to sweeten it a little and red pepper flakes. I stirred it in to blend and while stirring added the remaining seasonings. I put the lid on the pan and let it cook for about 15 minutes on a medium heat.

When I took the lid of the yellow rice I was in for quite a surprise ( You know the yellow rice in the foil packs) Turns out it was not yellow rice at all. It was yellow all right but it had none of the traditional saffron flavor. It was loaded with garlic,cayenne and additional spices. I think maybe that particular run of rice mix had the flavor and packaging mixed up. Lucky for us I was using it as a base for the Chicken Creole. The heat and spices in the rice really only enhanced the taste. A simple green salad and some tomato wedges and the meal was made. It was a hit and now we have one more way to cook chicken when time is tight.

This is something I will do again, but probably not too often. I think it would get old and boring if we had it much so I will keep it as a "by request" item.

p.s I have a picture but Blogger will not let me add it right now. I will try later

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