Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Recipe Tuesday

I'm going to give my method for making chicken fajitas for today's recipe tuesday. This is also how I cook chicken breasts for anything I want chicken for, like fried rice or mexican casserole.

Start with a package of boneless skinless chicken breasts. Depending on whether you're going for leftovers or not, you can do this with lots of pieces or just a couple of pieces. I'd figure one boneless skinless breast for every two people if you don't really want to have leftovers. Lay the chicken in the bottom of a casserole dish or pyrex baking pan after rinsing it under running water. I don't bother to trim it at this point, because I just shred it after it's cooked and clean it then, (not to mention, I hate touching raw meat). Use a dish the size needed to have the chicken pretty much cover the bottom. That is, if you're doing a lot of pieces at once, use a 9X13 dish, but if you're only doing four or so, use a 8X8 dish.

Pour some chicken broth into the dish, enough to go halfway up the chicken pieces. Peel some garlic cloves and put them into the dish as well, scattering them over the chicken and slipping them between the pieces. I usually use about two cloves per breast. Pepper the top and use salt too, if your broth isn't already really salting.

I love using my probe thermometer when I make this dish. Put the probe in the thickest part of one of the middle pieces of chicken. Cover the whole dish tightly with foil, and put the whole dish into the oven at 350 to 400 degrees. Run the cord of the thermometer out to the digital part and set the temperature alarm for 160 degrees. The safe temperature for eating chicken is 165, but there is carryover once it's out of the oven.

When the alarm goes off, take out the dish and allow the chicken to rest still covered in foil. When the digital read is 165 degrees, you can remove the pieces of chicken from the dish and allow them to cool slightly for you to handle. You can then cut the chicken into bite sized chunks or shred it with two forks. Mix the shredded chicken with a little chicken broth, some chili powder and some cumin for your fajitas.

I also serve black beans to have in the fajitas. Drain a can of black beans and in a skillet over medium low heat, put a few of the cloves of garlic that cooked with the chicken. Smash this roasted garlic up and mix it into the beans while they heat through. These beans are so simple, but they're so delicious with the cooked garlic. Don't worry too much about going too heavy with the garlic, after it's cooked, it's quite mild.

I usually serve this meal buffet style, with dishes of the spiced chicken, the beans, cheddar or jack cheese, shredded lettuce, quacamole, hot sauce, salsa, olives, peppers, onion, and flour or corn tortillas.

To keep the leftover chicken, portion it into meal sized amount in regular sandwich zipper bags, then put all the smaller bags into one large freezer zipper bag. This will save you from wasting lots of the more expensive freezer bags but still allow for freezing the chicken in portions. Don't for get to label the big bag with the date and contents.

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1 comment:

As We Sail... said...

Thanks for the recipe and the idesa for guy gifts. They seem so hard to buy for.
I can't wait to try that cheesy dip, my mouth was watering.

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