I’m always looking for tasty ways to impress my family and friends. These days we're eating out less often, but don’t want to give up the communion that sharing meals with loved ones offers. Recently, I’ve discovered that focusing on simple dishes utilizing the oven instead of the stove top provides us with the most freedom to enjoy our guests. For a recipe to be considered Guest Worthy, it has to include the following components (besides being delicious):
- Prep happens before guests arrive, maximizing the “experience” by eliminating distractions.
- The Oven does all or most of the work (as opposed to managing the intricacies of the stove top.
- The dish is a balanced meal – include veggies and meat.
- Great for leftovers.
My Music Man and I made this together last night for some low-key entertaining with some close friends. After the first helping, he looked at me, smiled and nodded. No other words were necessary. This one made the cut. His only request was that next time we used thighs instead of breasts. We call this...
SAUCY RED HEN
Prep Time: 20 Min
Cook Time: 45 Min
Ready In: 1 Hr 5 Min
Recipe Yields 6 servings
- 5-6 (about 4-5 lbs.) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 4 fresh Serrano peppers, minced
- 1 fresh Jalapeno pepper, minced
- 4 garlic cloves, pressed
- 4 carrots, grated
- 3 cups sliced mushrooms
- 1 large (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 ½ cup chicken broth
- 2 cups uncooked long grain rice
- 1 large lime, squeezed
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- Salt to taste
- 1 cup salsa
- 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- 1 (2.25 ounce) can sliced ripe olives, drained
In a large skillet, brown chicken in olive oil for 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove and keep warm. In the same skillet, sauté the onion, celery, peppers and garlic. Add mushrooms. Cook until tender. Stir in the tomatoes, water, rice, broth and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Pour into a large greased baking dish; add carrots, stir in lime juice, top with chicken.
Cover and bake at 325 degrees F for 45-50 minutes or until rice is tender. Uncover; spoon salsa over chicken and sprinkle with cheese. Bake 5 minutes longer to melt the cheese. Garnish with olives.