11 October 2011

Chix and Chips on Columbus Day

Chix and Chips, with Cilantro Rice and Pico de Gallo 
Serves 2-4

2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast (or the equivalent of Chicken Breast Tenders)
5 Limes, halved
5 Roma Tomatoes
1/2 Medium-sized Onion
1 bunch of Cilantro (or Coriander)
1 Jalapeno
2-3 Garlic Cloves, finely diced
1 1/2 Cups of Jasmine Rice (or any long grain rice)
3 Cups of Non-Sodium Chicken Broth
1/4 Cup of Non-Sodium Vegetable Broth
1 Large Egg
1 Bag of Tortilla Chips (I'm especially fond of the Lime or Jalapeno flavored kinds)
Cayenne Pepper, Salt, Black Pepper, Thyme, Oregano

1. Start by marinating the chicken of your choice in the juice of 4 limes. Also, before we both forget, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

**Hint for Efficient Path to Consumption: While waiting for the marriage of lime juice and your chicken, this is a perfect time to make your Pico de Gallo salsa and start on your rice.
2. To make the salsa, finely dice up the onion, jalapeno and cilantro. (Reserve some cilantro for your rice) Then dice up the tomatoes (at about double the size your diced onion). Add them all to a bowl, squeeze in the juice of half a lime, sprinkle in salt to taste.
3. Stir everything in your bowl, making sure everything is well distributed in order to ensure equal proportion of deliciousness in every bite.

4. Now back to your chicken, get your Tortilla Chips in the storage device of your choice (a tupperware bowl worked perfectly in my case) and mash up 1/2 the bag of chips as finely as possible.
**Hint #2: If you have the luxury, a food processor is something I would have loved to have to eliminate any hand cramping or dangerous explosions of tortilla crumbles.
**Hint #3: Start on your rice before you start working with your chicken. Put 3 cups of chicken broth, your chopped garlic and cilantro on the stove and bring it to a boil.
5. To this tortilla/crumb mixture, add a sprinkling of cayenne pepper, thyme and oregano.
6. Whisk your large egg in a bowl to start dredging your chicken.
7. As the chicken should be well-marinated, start getting your chicken out of the lime marinade and into the egg.
8. Once the chicken is coated in egg, cover each piece of chicken in the tortilla chip mixture.
9. All of the chip and egg-coated chicken can go on a lightly oiled baking sheet and into the oven for 20 minutes.

Next, cilantro rice!
10. Once your chicken broth mixture comes to a boil, add 1 1/2 cups of jasmine rice and bring that to a boil.
11. As it comes to a boil, put the lid on your pot and bring your heat down to a simmer (low) and let the rice cook for 15-20 minutes.

I chose to steam some broccoli on the side, but that is completely optional.
Once the chicken is nice and golden, the rice is fluffy and soft, and the salsa is nice and chilled... it's TIME TO EAT!
Enjoy like I did, maybe even with a nice margarita on the side. But that is also a completely suggested option.

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