Slow-cooker Mexican Chicken

A slow-cooker is a funny thing, something I never thought I would want/need. Just another unitasker that takes up precious counter space. Boy was I wrong, I’ll be the first to admit it! This thing is great! I use it to cook stews and lovely braises while I’m at work. While it is hard to find recipes that a.) can be cooked for 10+ hours, and b.) don’t inlcude “cream of whatever” soups, I have found some recipes that are amazing. This is one of them. It’s even one of the kind that doesn’t require anything other than dumping and mixing. My favorite. It does include taco seasoning (fajita in the UK) though.. So my homemade credentials are blown!

I pinned this from my friend who got it here. I’m actually making things I’m pinning so go me! Pinterest Challenge success all the way!

So without further ado, the recipe.

Slow-cooker Chilli Lime Mexican Chicken
adapted from Pip and Ebby

You’ll need:
chicken (breasts or thighs, I uses boneless, skinless breasts)
jar of salsa
packet of taco/fajita seasoning
2 limes
tortillas (I prefer soft corn, but whatever you prefer)

Step one: Put 4 chicken breasts or 6 thighs (defrosted) in slow cooker. Dump in a taco seasoning packet or if you aren’t lazy like me, mexican spices like cumin and coriander, etc. I added that anyways… Then dump in a jar of salsa (mine was small). Mix that all up til it’s all coated. Then chop up some garlic, a chilli (or 2 depending on how hot you like it!), a big handful of coriander/cilantro and add that along with the juice of a lime. Cook for 10 hours on low (or less, it’s not crucial)

Step two: When you get in, make some chilli garlic lime rice. Yeah buddy, this stuff is good! Make rice as usual but add a chopped chilli, garlic cloves and the zest of a lime. Once cooked, fluff up and add the juice of the lime. Prepare the tortillas by either microwaving in a damp towel or (like microwave-free me) put it on the burner and move it a lot til it’s hot.

Step three: Assemble! Put the tortilla on a plate and add rice and a chicken breast – careful, they fall apart! Top with scallions/spring onions, tomatoes and a dollop of sour cream (or plain greek yogurt, like me!). I also served some red cabbage cole slaw with it which was sooo tasty! To eat the leftovers at work, I put the extra rice, chicken and sauce in a container, cabbage, tomatoes and yogurt in another and ate it more like a saucy rice dish. Mmmm…

Overall, this bad boy is going to be a keeper and a regular in our household. If this sounds like a lot of work, it totally isn’t. Easy peasy. And super delicious. And healthy! No added oils or fats (other than the sour cream/yogurt).


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An ode to late summer, food style

As summer never really materialized in the UK this year (it was the coldest and rainiest ‘summer’ since 1993) I decided to take matters into my own hands and at least taste summer. My mom makes a mean tomato cheddar pie. Honestly, that thing is one of the best things I have ever eaten. Unfortunately, it is super time consuming (hello pie crust) and not the most healthy thing in the world (mayo and cheddar cheese) so I decided to go a different route. Enter the tomato tart.

I was inspired by David Lebovitz’s French Tomato Tart but being me (and my mother’s daughter) I altered it a bit. I didn’t make my own pastry crust as I had some leftover puff pastry that I had to use so that decided that mine would be a free-form tart – that and the fact that I don’t own a tart pan. I had also roasted a boat load of peppers and had a bunch left in the fridge. I also had some zucchini that were threatening to go off so they got thrown in the mix as well.

I was kinda shocked at how good it was. It was totally better than the sum of it’s parts. It screamed of sunshine and warmth even though it was chucking down buckets outside. Gavin, the meat lover even went back for seconds!

So here’s what I did:

Free-form tomato tart
One sheet of puff pastry, or a smallish block, rolled out real thin (1/4″)
Dijon or whole grain mustard (I used whole grain)
2-3 ripe tomatoes, sliced
2 small zucchini, thinly sliced
2 roasted peppers, sliced in biggish chunks
olive oil
fresh thyme
soft goat cheese

1. Preheat oven to about 400F/200C
2. Roll out pastry and start spread with mustard. Let dry for a few minutes
3. Layer the veggies on top. I alternated tomatoes, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, tomatoes, etc. until the whole pastry is covered, leaving room around the edges (about 1″).
4. Sprinkle with thyme and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.
5. Slice goat cheese and lay over top.
6. Fold the edges up and pinch the corners to seal.
7. Bake that bad boy until the pastry is cooked and golden and the cheese is browned, about 30 minutes.

Here is mine, just after I layered the veg and sprinkled with thyme. I thought it was just so pretty I had to take a photo!

And after baking.. excuse me while I wipe the drool off my keyboard!