Make your own dinner at home!! Now adding recipes for your dining pleasure.

It occurred to me, why just shared our opinions? Although our opinions on restaurants, beer and even hotels are well-crafted, insightful and dare I say, thought provoking, they are, at their core, just opinions. I thought it would be fun to share recipes as well.  Not just “hey this Betty Crocker recipe is great” but I would either share recipes I have created, or replicated from various Facebook posts.  The infamous “try this recipe, you will be AMAZED” posts. I will let you know if you should waste your time.

I posted on Facebook that I was busy in the kitchen this weekend. One dish I made is really a Frankenstein creation of many recipes online that I changed and adjusted. I call it Southwestern Chicken Chili.  Now I have made for Omar before, my white bean chicken chili, which he did not really care for.  I decided to try a tomato based dish to see if he liked it.

One ingredient you will see here is Northwoods Fire seasoning from Penzeys. Penszey’s is a spice company that if you have not visited, you need to.  You can find anything you need here, and can order online for your convenience.  Check out their website here.

Northwoods Fire is a chili powder with added flavors of chipotle and hot Cayenne.  If you don’t have this, and you probably do not, you can get a powdered chipotle seasoning and Cayenne.

Ingredients include:IMG_1799
1 Cup finely chopped onions
1 C finely chopped green pepper
1/2 C finely chopped jalapeno
2 Tbs Vegetable Oil
3-4 Chopped Garlic cloves
1 small can tomato paste
5 C Chicken Stock
1/2 C heavy cream
2 Tbs Chili Powder
1 tps cumin
1 tps Northwoods Fire seasoning
salt & pepper
1 tps red chili flakes
1 tps. dried cilantro leaves (can omit if you do not have)
3 boneless chicken breasts
3/4 C long grain white rice
1 can black beans (rinsed)
1 C frozen corn

What to do: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees or so, and bake your chicken breasts until done. Maybe 25-30 minutes?  Once done, set aside to cool, then shred and place in fridge.

Meanwhile, get your mise en place prepared.  Mise en place is a french term that basically means “putting in its place”.  That means setting out your ingredients, chopping, prepping and organizing.

Chop your onions, peppers, and garlic.  You can put all the peppers and onions together, but leave garlic separate.

Add your oil to a large stock pot or dutch oven.  Add onions and peppers and cook until tender and translucent.  Add garlic and cook a bit longer.  Add your tomato paste and stir through.  Once fully incorporated, add your chicken stock.

Add spices. At this point, I let the infused chicken broth simmer for about 15-30 minutes, just to have all the flavors meld. Taste at this point and add additional seasoning if needed.

Note when adding spices to dishes you are preparing to be careful at what stage you are adding.  If you add your spices to onions and peppers that are cooking, your spices may easily burn. Especially if those spices are leafy like parsley, or in this case cilantro.  Nothing worse that burned spices to ruin a dish.

Add rice and stir gently.  Simmer for about another 25 minutes until rice is tender. Unlike when you cook just rice, you can keep stirring this. In fact, the starches given off from the rice help thicken this dish.

Stir in your heavy cream, and add your black beans, corn and chicken.

Bring back up to boil, reduce to simmer and cook about 5 minuted until last ingredients just heated through.

Serve with crushed tortilla chips and grated cheddar cheese! Enjoy!!

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