Monday, January 30, 2012

Salsa Verde Chicken

Before I talk about the wonders of this meal, let me pause and say this...

Is it really the end of January already?!  I feel like we were just celebrating the holidays last weekend, but here we are at February's doorstep.  I am absolutely in love with my life, every day, and I love to cherish the moments, but when you turn around, they're gone.  I thought life didn't speed up this way until after 40.  Shoot, in my head I'm still 21.  (And now that was more than a decade ago!!  Yikes!)  Maybe I'm just doing the year-end reflection thing a month late.  Sorry for the diatribe.  Now on to our regularly scheduled dinner!

Salsa Verde Chicken Bake - the original recipe is here, from Very Culinary.  Found it on Pinterest, big surprise. Every recipe I've made in the past two weeks has been lifted from there.  I love this continual influx of new ideas.  Although, I do have to say that on Wednesday of last week, there was very little new and exciting info and I was almost disappointed.  Almost.

This recipe does make up for it, however, and it's pretty ridiculously good for you, too.

 Ingredients (of which there are FOUR!)

2-3 lbs Boneless, skinless chicken (I went with the pre-marinated thighs since they are juicier, but I'm sure breast would work as well.)
1 (16oz) jar of Salsa Verde
2 cups of white cheese shreds (I used half queso fresco, and half Mexican 4 cheese mixture since I had them both already)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

That's it.  The directions?  Even more simple.

Lightly spray a 9x13 pan and lay out chicken so it's evenly distributed and not overlapping.  Evenly pour salsa verde on top.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Then, take out your dish and cover it in cheese.  This time, bake at 400 for 15 minutes.  I think the temperature bump is to help brown the cheese.  I wasn't too impressed, so I broiled it for a minute to get that nice crispiness that we so love and desire in our household.

Finally, when you've got your desired consistency, remove it and sprinkle your cilantro on top.  If you're not a cilantro person, use a flat leaf parsley or omit.  Your kitchen, your call.
Throw it in a tortilla if you'd like!

 I served it with whole wheat tortillas and (my very exciting new find) brown Jasmine rice.  I ate some just on the rice and some in the tortilla.  Either way, this was totally worth the effort.  Perfect week night meal for our household.  Be forewarned, though, that Jasmine rice takes about 20 minutes to prepare and brown jasmine rice takes 50 minutes.  I didn't realize that until the chicken was in so I had to work a little more quickly than I expected.  Overall, though, my husband didn't mind eating the brown rice (huge victory), and the entire meal was a smashing success!

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