Friday, December 16, 2011

Tortilla Crusted Mexican Chicken with Corn & Avocado Salsa and Mexican Rice Pilaf

When most people think of Mexican food, cheesy, greasy food comes to mind. I recently made a Mexican meal that wasn't cheesy or greasy, and it was both healthy and delicious! I marinated chicken breasts in a flavorful sauce and used tortilla chips to create a crispy coating. I made it healthy by baking the crispy chicken instead of frying it. Alongside I served a satisfying Mexican rice pilaf and a fresh and vibrant corn and avocado salsa. This may not be your typical  Mexican meal, but I guarantee you’ll think it’s delicious!

Tortilla Crusted Mexican Chicken
Flavorful chicken in a crispy tortilla crust.
Serves 2

Two chicken breasts, halved lengthwise (or 4 chicken tenderloins)
½ cup olive oil
1 T cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. salt
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 cups tortilla chips

Combine olive oil, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, salt and cilantro in a medium bowl. Add chicken and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate until marinated, at least 30 minutes up to 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Crush tortilla chips in a large Ziploc bag. Remove chicken from marinade and allow excess to drip off. Place in Ziploc bag with crushed chips and shake until fully coated.

Grease a baking sheet or sheet with rack and place chicken on top. Bake in oven until cooked through, about 20 minutes. Enjoy!

Recipe by Sarah Lang
Corn & Avocado Salsa
Fresh, vibrant and delicious with crispy chicken.
Serves 6
1 can corn, rinsed
1 avocado, diced
1/2 red onion, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
Juice from 1 lime
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Allow to sit in fridge for at least one hour before eating so flavors can combine. Feel free to add or swap ingredients!
Recipe by Sarah Lang
Mexican Rice Pilaf
A healthy and delicious rice side dish!
Serves 6 (easily halved)
2 1/2 cups water
1 small onion , chopped fine
2 jalapeƱo chiles , stemmed, seeded, and minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cloves garlic , minced or pressed through a garlic press
1 1/2 cups basmati rice or plain long-grain, rinsed
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
1 medium tomato , halved, seeded, and diced small (about 1/2 cup)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (from 1 lime)

Bring the water to a boil, covered, in a small saucepan. Add 1 teaspoon salt and season with pepper to taste; cover to keep hot.

Meanwhile, combine the onion, chiles, oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large saucepan. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, 8 to 10 minutes.

Increase the heat to medium and add the tomato paste and garlic. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the rice, and stir to coat the grains with oil. Cook until the edges of the grains begin to turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in the hot seasoned water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until all the water is absorbed, 16 to 18 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat and add the cilantro and tomato—do not mix in. Lay a clean, folded kitchen towel underneath the lid (see the illustration below). Let stand for 10 minutes, then add the lime juice and fluff the rice with a fork and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe courtesy of Cook's Illustrated

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