Margarita Chicken and Red Rice with links to Sliders and Peasant Bread

If I offended you with my earlier posts … remember: I haven’t changed, you just got to know me better 🙂

Really.

I am outspoken, pugnacious, hedonistic, and unabashedly myself.

It’s ok.

I’m not trying to change you either ❤

Anyway … there are some fabulous recipes that I’ve enjoyed preparing that I thought I’d share with you (no, I’m not on the Paleo, 17 Day Diet (geez, don’t abbreviate that or you end up with a doctorate of divinity hidden in your post!) or any other special eating plan now, so you’ll have to edit for your personal needs/preferences … or you can just console yourself with knowing I’m about 50 pounds beyond fluffy … and that’s ok too)

If you’re not familiar with Big Red Kitchen, you’re missing out on some great recipes – but the reason we fell in love with the site is because there’s no such thing as White Castle here in rural Arizona, and after 4 1/2 years of living here, there was a need for sliders in my home.

Thus we have added this to our “need food from back east” list (along with the shawarma recipe that I posted earlier … because Middle Eastern food is also a non-commodity in rural AZ … if you want chile, or chili, or ghost peppers baby you’re in the right place, but if you want to feel like you’re back in the 518, the 716, the 248, the 313, the 734 or their neighbors you’re s.o.l. … unless you’re in your own kitchen!)

Big Red Kitchen White Castle Slidershttp://www.bigredkitchen.com/2009/06/white-castle-like-sliders-a-how-to/

And here are others that we enjoy making and sharing with others:

Alexandra’s Kitchen Peasant Bread – http://www.alexandracooks.com/2012/11/07/my-mothers-peasant-bread-the-best-easiest-bread-you-will-ever-make/ (I have some mountains of rural AZ modifications for this one, but the people who need them have received them, so I’ll leave it alone here, except to tell you that it’s made otherwise sane & normal people eat grilled cheese for breakfast … and no, I’m not talking about me … I’m neither normal nor sane)

Back to the original recipes I was planning to share here 🙂

Margarita Chicken Crock Pot Recipe – from the Southwest Slow Cooker Recipe

Ingredients
3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3/4 cup margarita mix
1/4 cup tequila
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp all purpose flour
1 tbsp water
lime wedges
Original Directions
Mix the margarita mix, tequila, honey, cayenne, basil, cumin & olive oil together in a small bowl.

Poke holes in the chicken and put in crock pot; pour sauce over it.

Let cook on low for 5-6 hours. (I used frozen chicken breasts & cooked it for 10 because that’s how long I was gone today – it came out just fine)

Remove chicken to a platter in a 200* oven to keep warm.

Mix flour and water together and then add to sauce in crockpot – whisk together – cook over high heat for 10 minutes.

Serve chicken over Spanish rice with the sauce poured over the top and with lime wedges on the side.

How I Really Make It

Put boneless skinless chicken breast in a ziplock bag (or use one of those bags of frozen IQF chicken breasts which is already IN the bag LOL), pour the margarita mix (I prefer the one that has 0 or 10 calories in it – the former is by Jose Cuervo, the latter is by Mix Masters and has The Biggest Loser seal of approval on it) and the spices into the bag (I prefer to skip the olive oil and honey – you can do what you like). Seal the bag, put it on a plate and let it marinate in the fridge over night.

In the morning, I pour the whole thing into the crockpot (I prefer – despite it’s ability to only survive a year at 3x/week use in my kitchen – Hamilton Beach 33967) and set it on low.

At night when it’s done (um we’re home LOL) I spoon the sauce into a sauce pan and mix a slurry of corn-starch (or flour) and water and whisk it til it’s thick like gravy to serve over it. My family likes it with warm tortillas, Spanish Rice (recipe follows), queso fresco and lime wedges if I didn’t forget to buy limes LOL

 

Spanish Rice – you can choose to skip the tomato sauce & just make really delicious seasoned rice that goes great with EVERYTHING, your choice

This one takes some practice … every person makes it differently … and it doesn’t come out the same 2x so caveat emptor or whatever Latin phrase you like 🙂

2 cups of instant rice

margarine or butter to your liking

garlic powder

black pepper

15 oz of tomato sauce

1 tsp of salt

14 oz of chicken stock

(for your sanity, open all the cans first, please)

In your favorite skillet (one that has the lid that fits and the spatter-screen that keeps the back-splash over the stove clean … I prefer 9″ cast-iron for this project, you can use whatever you like), over medium high heat melt your butter or margarine (I use enough country crock that when it’s melted it coats the bottom of the pan – this really is personal preference, some people like more, others less, some people are following cardiologist’s orders or trying to avoid having a cardiologist on their speed-dial, so exercise your choice of cautions ok? I’m not a doctor (yet) and when I do become one it’ll be the PhD variety not the MD variety, so don’t trust your heart to my cooking)

When the margarine is melted add the rice and stir as it gets coated with the margarine (I prefer to stir with something that looks like this: http://www.amazon.com/Helen-Kitchen-13-inch-Bamboo-Spatula/dp/B000UF0L0E/ref=sr_1_4?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1361723548&sr=1-4&keywords=wooden+spatula – you use what works for you)

Season with garlic powder and black pepper (this is totally a preference thing, as much or as little as you like; you can add other seasonings such as cumin or Mrs Dash or any of Trader Joe’s vile spice mixes (which I personally despise but plenty of people love) – do not add anything with salt at this point, it’s not time for that)

when everything’s beautiful and golden … maybe 3 minutes of constant stirring? … turn the pan down to low …

Make sure your spatter shield is within reach, turn the  … and pour the tomato sauce into the pan …. it’s going to bubble and spit … stir it well (this is where the stir-fry spatula comes in better handy than a wooden spoon because it  increases the surface area of the pan that you’re stirring against) and put the spatter shield on it and let it cook on low until the tomato sauce is mostly absorbed and the rice looks like it’s colored reddish instead of swimming in the tomato sauce.

Add the chicken stock, stir well, add the salt, stir well. Put the lid on and simmer over low for about 20 minutes or until the chicken stock is absorbed (this part is tricky because it depends on relative humidity and how hot the pan is and all sorts of stuff … which is why I got to the point of using cast-iron with mine, it’s the most consistent performer; I love my calphalon pans but they’re just too fickle on my gas range at this elevation (oops there’s a word that angers people … they don’t like to know that it’s altitude when it’s in the air and elevation when it’s on the land … my endless apologies for being a language nerd … or not … since the people that offended have long ago bailed LOL)

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