Thursday, August 21, 2008

Recipe Swap: Southwestern Chicken

Over on Life as Mom, FishMama is having a Recipe Swap today. Just days away from giving birth to Baby #6, she's had meals on the mind. One of the benefits of having a baby is that you're often blessed with meals from family and friends. So, today she posed the question, "What's your favorite meal to share with others?"

It didn't take me long to come up with my answer. Southwestern Chicken. This is one of our favorite meals and is easy for me since I usually make it ahead of time. When boneless, skinless chicken goes on sale, I usually make a batch and then put 2 single breasts in a quart-sized ziploc bag with a quarter of the marinade, zip it up and freeze for later use. So, the recipe can make 4 dinners for our family (2 single chicken breasts each) or makes enough for a crowd. It marinades as it freezes and then as it defrosts. It is wonderful when cooked over the grill. Besides tri-tip, this is one of the meals that we serve most frequently when we've got friends over. It almost always gets rave reviews from our guests. I usually serve it with a green salad, rice pilaf and some other vegetable. Since my hubby does the grilling, I can prep the sides in no time and the clean-up (if the chicken is made up ahead of time) is a snap.

Although I've never grilled it up to deliver to a friend, I did give it as a frozen meal to a friend recently who had a baby. I brought her a hot meal and then gave her a frozen one for her to prepare at a later date. I included some frozen Southwestern Chicken, a pack of microwavable Uncle Ben's rice and frozen veggies.

Southwestern Chicken

2 cups chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 medium tomatoes, quartered
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, packed
2/3 cup soy sauce
6 Tablespoons oil
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
8 chicken breasts

Directions: Place all ingredients except the chicken in a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into a ziploc bag. Add chicken breasts and seal the bag. Place in the refrigerator and marinate for 4 – 24 hours, massaging bag frequently. Remove chicken from marinade and cook on a hot grill until done and juices run clear.

To Make as a Freezer Meal: Prepare the marinade as explained above and pour into four quart-sized ziploc bags. Put two single chicken breasts in each bag. Remove air from bag and seal tightly. Freeze flat. To prepare them, just defrost and grill. I've found it tastes best if you defrost on the counter during the day and then put in the fridge until ready to use. A quick thaw in water will work but then the chicken doesn't get as long to marinade.


Karen said...

Sounds really good-plus easy.

My kind of recipe! LOL

FishMama said...

This is a great one! Never thought to put it in smaller batches.

Janel said...

Karen - It IS easy and soooo good!

Jess - I LOVE putting it in the small batches for freezing. It makes it easy to ask people over for dinner on the spur of the moment. I just take out how much I need.

Kama said...

That sounds really good. I found you from Life as Mom. I always appreciate a recipe that includes how to make it as a frozen meal as well!
We are doing a recipe (chicken) exchange at our blog (Today's Housewife) this weekend also if you'd like to add yours there!