Chicken Chipotle Tacos with Guacamole

Chipotle Chicken Tacos & Cool Guacamole

This is a Tex-Mex style recipe for Chicken Tacos with Guacamole. The star of these tacos is the rich, smokiness of the Chipotle peppers. A flavor I love. It seemed only natural for me to combine them with chicken in a sort of reinvention of the standard taco. A little upgrade. 

I made a non-spicy guacamole to give it some serious cooling power, the tacos are spicy enough already. This is great addition to your taco night and super fast if you have leftover cooked chicken on hand.

Chicken Chipotle Tacos & Cool Guacamole

Chicken Chipotle Tacos
(by Reeni) Makes about 7-8 tacos, depending on size
1 Yellow Onion, diced
Vegetable oil, for sauting
3 cloves Garlic, minced
2 Chipotle Chiles in Adobo, seeds scraped out, minced, plus 1 tablespoon of the Sauce
3 cups cooked Chicken, rough chopped
1 teaspoon Oregano
1 teaspoon Chile Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt & fresh black pepper
1/4 cup water
Guacamole, recipe to follow
Flour or Corn tortillas
Your choice of fixin’s:
Sour cream
Shredded Cheddar or Mixed Mexican Blend Cheese
Shredded lettuce
Diced Tomato
Diced Onion
Salsa
Lime wedges
1. Saute the onion in oil until translucent, add garlic and saute until fragrant, add Chipotles and saute for a minute or two.
2. Add chicken, oregano, Chile powder, salt, pepper, and water. Mix well and heat over medium-low heat about 8 – 10 minutes, stirring often.
3. Serve in heated tortillas with fixin’s.

Cool Guacamole & Taco Fixin's

 Cool Guacamole
2 Avocados, halved, pitted, flesh removed
2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1/2 cup Tomato, diced
1 tablespoon Yellow Onion, finely diced
2 teaspoon fresh Cilantro, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
Use a food processor(or mash together in a bowl) to mix the avocado, sour cream, and lime together until smooth and creamy. Remove to a medium bowl and mix in the tomato, onion, and cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill until serving.

Don’t you hate opening a whole can of Chipotles and only using one or two? I have the solution! Freeze them. Add each one to the corner of a sandwich baggie with a spoonful of sauce. Tie up the bag. Store them all in a ziploc bag in the freezer. Take out as needed – they thaw quickly. You can even put the bag right in a small bowl of hot water if you need them at the last moment.

Chicken Chipotle Tacos & Cool Guacamole



Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken & Dumplings

This was my very first time not only making but eating chicken and dumplings! It was a pleasant experience.  Warmth envelopes you like a fuzzy blanket on a bitter winter day and the dumplings are like soft, doughy pillows. I’m positive these are a cure-all for no matter what ails you! Be it in your body, mind or soul.

My stew recipe is loosely based on Tyler Florence’s. I made mine heartier by adding sweet and white potatoes, peas and corn. The result is a stew that can stand on its own without the dumplings. I used leftover roasted chicken and my crock pot chicken stock but canned or boxed stock is fine. (If you want to cook your chicken and render a stock all at the same time, follow the links to Tyler’s recipes for directions.) The stew is thick and creamy with perfectly light dumplings that have little air bubbles speckling the insides. Completely delicious and comforting!

Chicken & Dumplings

This recipe is very forgiving, as most stews are, a little variation on the amounts or even the types of veggies you use will give you the same, delicious result. Stick to the recipe for the dumplings and keep them small – they will grow 3-4 times in size.

Chicken & Dumplings
(Stew recipe by Reeni, Dumpling recipe adapted from Tyler Florence here and also here)
Chicken Stew:
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 and 1/2 cups carrot, diced or sliced into rounds
1/2 cup celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup flour
6 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
3 cups potatoes, cubed (I used a mix of white and sweet)
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen corn
3 cups cooked chicken, rough-chopped into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup heavy cream or whole milk
Freshly ground black pepper, for garnish
Chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
1. In a large, wide, soup pot or Dutch oven melt butter and heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery, garlic, and bay leaves. Saute until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour to make a roux. Continue to stir and cook for 2 minutes to coat the flour and remove the starchy taste. Slowly pour in the chicken stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. Add the parsley, Italian seasoning, potatoes, peas, and corn. Simmer for 20 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.
2. Stir in heavy cream and chicken. Bring back to a simmer.
3. Using 2 spoons, carefully drop heaping tablespoonfuls of the dumpling batter into the hot mixture. The dumplings should cover the top of the sauce, but should not be touching or crowded. Let the dumplings poach for 10 to 15 minutes until they are firm and puffy. You may need to cook the dumplings in two batches if they don’t fit in the pan all at once.
4. Season with freshly cracked black pepper and garnish with chopped parsley before serving.
Dumplings:
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
3/4 to 1 cup buttermilk*
1.To prepare the dumplings: sift dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
2. In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs and milk together; pour the liquid(start with 3/4 cup, add the remaining 1/4 cup if needed) in the dry ingredients and gently fold.
3. Mix just until the dough comes together, the batter should be thick and cake-like.
*I made my own by adding one tablespoon of white vinegar(lemon juice will work too) to a one cup measure, than added milk. Let sit for five minutes.

Chicken & Dumplings

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Zesty Chicken Burritos

Zesty Chicken Burritos

I debated with myself over whether to post these burritos. The fact that they were really, really outstanding won out. I under-estimated them. You know when you take that first bite of something and it’s not what you expected, but better, and you just have to say mmmm out loud? Or announce to everyone how good it is? When everyone else at the table does the same then you know their worth sharing.

This was my first time using Ro-tel tomato and green chile mix. But it won’t be my last! They were exceptionally tasty and added a lot of flavor. I mixed them with the shredded chicken and layered the burritos with cheesy rice, shredded cheddar and  refried beans. Then I pan-fried them to melt all the flavors together and make the tortilla all nice and toasty. I topped them with a sour cream sauce made by mixing in softened cream cheese, cilantro and fresh lime juice. The cream cheese enriched the sour cream and made it extra thick and creamy. The refreshing hint of lime and cilantro brightened up and mingled with the other flavors deliciously.  

What did I learn?

1. Burritos are overlooked in my diet!

2. Ro-Tel Tomatoes & Green Chiles are yummy.

3. Burritos are the perfect way to re-invent leftovers.

4. You can never have too much cheese in a burrito!

Zesty Chicken Burritos

Zesty Chicken Burritos
(by Reeni)
Cheesy Rice:
1/2 cup Brown Rice, uncooked
1 cup Sharp Cheddar or Pepper Jack
Burritos:
1/2 yellow onion, diced
Olive Oil for sauting
1 – 15 ounce can Ro-Tel Diced Tomatoes with Green Chiles
2-3 cups cooked chicken, shredded
1 teaspoon Oregano
1 teaspoon Chile powder
1 can Refried Beans, heated
Burrito size Tortillas
1-2 cups Sharp Cheddar, shredded, for serving
Optional Fixin’s: Lettuce, Tomato, Salsa, and Avocado for serving
Sour Cream Sauce:
4 ounces Cream Cheese
3/4 cup Sour Cream
1 tablespoon fresh Cilantro or Parsley, fresh, chopped
fresh squeezed lime juice
1. Cook the rice according to package directions. Add the cheese in at the very end. Put the lid on the pan and allow it to melt. Stir until combined well. If it gets too thick add a tablespoon of milk and stir.
2. Saute the onion in Olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet until soft and tender. Add the Ro-tel including the juices, the chicken, oregano and Chile Powder. Heat through.
3. To make the sauce soften the cream cheese in the microwave, whisk in the sour cream, a generous squeeze of lime juice and the cilantro or parsley.
4. Assemble the burritos: put a strip of beans down the center of the tortilla, top with cheese, rice, and chicken. Fold in the ends and roll up.
5. Wrap the tortillas and heat in a 325 degree oven until warm or pan-fry them in a greased skillet over medium heat on each side. Serve with sour cream sauce and fixin’s if desired.

Zesty Chicken Burritos

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How to Make Crockpot Chicken Stock

Slow-Cooker Chicken Stock

This is one of the best ways to make stock. Let your crock pot do all the work!  And save some money too because good stock can be expensive. It’s so easy it should be criminal! Throw everything in, cover with water, bring to a boil, and then slow-cook over night or all day. Like magic your house will smell comforting and you’ll have the tastiest stock waiting for you to make soups and stews with.

This recipe is not really a recipe but a basic starting point. If your missing one of the vegetables or have different herbs throw them in. No worries. I’ve made this with just a chicken carcass minus the veggies and herbs. It was amazing all on it’s own and you can add flavor later when you use it in your recipes.

I know this chicken carcass is ugly! But I wanted to show you how it looks.

Slow-Cooker Chicken Stock Begins

 Slow-Cooker Chicken Stock

1 chicken carcass or chicken bones
1 onion, quartered
2-3 cloves garlic, whole
1 carrot, rough chopped/baby carrots/slices
1 stalk celery, cut in thirds, plus the celery leaves
black peppercornsfresh parsley
bay leaf

Optional:
leek
additional herbs like thyme
lemon
ginger

Put all the ingredients in your slow-cooker or Nesco, cover with cold water. Start on highest setting, bring up to a boil. Then slow-cook at least five hours on high or overnight on low.
Let cool but while still warm remove the carcass. Pour the broth through a wire strainer. Store in fridge up to five days or freeze. You can season with salt right away or wait until you use it in a recipe. The fat will rise to the top and harden, skim it off before using.

 Printable Recipe  

Baked Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

Baked Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

This is an unbelievably delicious recipe for Baked Chicken Enchiladas! The filling is made of tender pieces of chicken mixed with green chile sauce, sharp cheddar, sour cream and cilantro or parsley. The filling is then rolled up in flour tortillas, covered in more green chile sauce, lots of cheese and baked off. The spicy green chile sauce is made with sour cream, chicken broth, green chiles and chipotle peppers.

This is one of my family’s favorite comfort meals!

Baked Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

Baked Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas
(by Reeni)
4 cups Chicken, boneless, skinless, cooked and cut into bite-size hunks
2 + 1/2 cups Extra Sharp Cheddar, shredded
1/4 cup fresh Cilantro, chopped or 1 teaspoon dried
1/2 cup Sour Cream plus additional for serving
Salt and pepper
8-10 taco size flour Tortillas
Green Chile Sauce:
1/2 Yellow Onion, diced
1 tablespoon Canola oil
2 tablespoon Butter
2 tablespoon Flour
1 and 1/2 cups Chicken Broth
1 small can Green Chiles
1 – 2 Chipotle Peppers in Adobo, seeds scraped out, minced*
1 + 1/2 cups Sour Cream
1. In a medium saucepan saute the Onion in the oil over medium-low heat until soft. Push the Onions to one side and add the Butter and Flour. Whisk together and cook for three minutes. Slowly whisk in Broth. Add Green Chiles and Chipotle (adjust the amount according to your heat preference). Bring to a slow simmer and continue to simmer about five minutes, whisking occasionally. Add the Sour Cream, whisk until melted and incorporated. Remove from heat.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
3. Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with baking spray and put a thin layer of Enchilada sauce in the bottom.
4. To a large mixing bowl add the Chicken, 1 cup Cheese, Cilantro, ½ cup Sour Cream, 1 cup Green Chile Sauce, dash of salt and pepper, and mix well.
5. In a skillet heat the Tortillas one at a time over medium heat about 30 seconds on each side.
6. Put a 1/2 – 2/3 cup of the Chicken mixture into the middle of each Tortilla, one at a time. Roll and place in pan. Repeat until all the Chicken mixture is used up. Pour the rest of the Green Chile sauce over the top. Sprinkle the remaining Cheese evenly over top.
7. Bake 20-25 minutes until bubbly throughout. Let set for five minutes before serving. Serve with Sour Cream and Avocado.
*Chipotles are optional.

The most delicious mess I ever ate!
Baked Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

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Light and Luscious Lemon Chicken

Lemon Chicken

My Mom loves lemon chicken. Any and all kinds of lemon chicken. She makes many different ones including Chicken Francese, Chicken Piccata and this recipe that she just calls Lemon Chicken. It is the simpler of the three – without the strong flavor bursts of the capers in the Piccata or the wine in the Francese. Or the tell-tale pucker. It’s a milder, lighter version, and my favorite of the three.

The chicken is lightly dredged in flour and pan-fried. The chicken is removed and garlic and onion are sauteed. The chicken along with lemon juice and chicken broth are added back in to finish cooking in the oven. The lemon and chicken broth together make a flavorful, broth that isn’t overpowered by the lemon.

It’s nicely balanced, bright, and delicious. The chicken is fork tender and melts in your mouth in little bursts of subtle lemon flavor. This is a perfect summertime comfort meal!

Lemon Chicken

Lemon Chicken
(From My Mom)
1 to 1 and 1/2 pounds chicken breast
flour
cornstarch
Sea salt and fresh pepper
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup minced onion
2 lemons
14 oz. chicken broth(about 1 and 3/4 cup)
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped or 1 teaspoon dried
Linguine or Spaghetti
Parmesan, fresh grated
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pound out your chicken breasts to 1/2 – 1 inch thick, cover with saran wrap first so chicken juice doesn’t fly everywhere.
2. In a small bowl combine about 1/2 cup flour with 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Wash the chicken breasts(don’t dry them), season with salt and pepper, and lightly coat them with the flour mixture.
3. In a large oven proof skillet over medium heat melt the butter and vegetable oil together. Add the chicken breasts and cook on each side until golden brown.
4. Remove the chicken from the pan. Add the garlic and onion, saute over medium-low heat until tender. Add the chicken back to the pan. Squeeze the lemons over the chicken breasts. Add the chicken broth. Season with salt and pepper. Slice the lemons and place them on top of the chicken.
5. Finish cooking them in the oven about 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. In the mean time cook the pasta to al dente according to package directions.
6. Finish by sprinkling parsley over the top.
7. Serve over linguine or spaghetti with fresh grated Parmesan.

Moon says thanks for all the birthday wishes! He read all your comments:

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Lemon Chicken

Gorgonzola Pasta with Bacon, Chicken and Walnuts

Gorgonzola Pasta

A creamy sauce with a big bite to it is tossed with pasta, chicken and walnuts to make up this rich and delicious pasta dish.

Gorgonzola is an Italian blue cheese with a strong flavor and smell. It is made from cow’s or sheep’s milk in the Piedmont and Lombardy regions of Northern Italy. It is aged three – six months to produce a variety of results. Three months produces a sweet, creamy cheese, perfect for spreading on crackers or using in dips. Four months time gives a firmer texture and a smellier aroma. And Gorgonzola aged for six months has a crumbly and dry texture with an extreme bite, and is used often in salads.

For this pasta I used a creamy version. It melts nicely into a smooth, satiny sauce with a distinctly tangy bite and a smoky note. The same pan the bacon is fried in is used to make the sauce picking up the frond from the bottom. Even though the Gorgonzola is the overpowering flavor bits of sweetness from the vidalia onion and warm, spicy nutmeg come through, tinged with the saltiness from the bacon and crunchy walnuts. It’s a wonderful palette of flavors and textures. A true delight for your taste buds.

Gorgonzola Pasta

Gorgonzola Pasta
(by Reeni)

2 chicken breast, pounded thin
salt and pepper
6 slices bacon
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons brown sugar
8 ounces Pasta
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon thyme, dried
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
8 ounces Gorgonzola. rough chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/3 cup walnut pieces
Parmesan for serving

Bake or grill the chicken seasoned with salt and pepper until cooked through.

In a large saute pan fry the bacon until crisp. Remove and drain on paper towels, set aside to cool, crumble into large pieces when cool enough to handle. Let the grease cool down, and drain. In the same pan add a tablespoon of olive oil and the onions. Add the brown sugar and season with salt and pepper. Saute until soft.

Cook your pasta to al dente according to package directions.

Add the milk, thyme, and nutmeg to the onion. Bring to a slow boil, add the cheese and parsley, simmer until cheese is melted and sauce starts to thicken, stirring constantly. Smash the cheese to help it melt if needed. Turn off heat. Add the drained pasta and toss to coat.

Slice the chicken breasts. Serve the pasta topped with sliced chicken, crumbled bacon, walnuts and fresh Parmesan.

Printable Recipe

Gorgonzola Pasta

Chicken Souvlaki with Greek Salad and Tzatziki

Greek Souvlaki Platter

This is a recreation of my parents favorite Greek diner meal. It is the Chicken Souvlaki platter that is made up of tender, marinated chicken pieces nesteled inside soft, warm pita bread with a salad on the side. The salad is loaded with Feta cheese, red onion, tomato, cucumber and Kalamata olives. But what really makes is special according to them, is the house made dressing. My contribution to the dish is tzatziki, a sauce made with cucumber, dill, lemon and yogurt.

This is a meal of many sauces between the chicken marinade, the tzatziki and the dressing. I was a kitchen witch whipping up potions. My parents loved it and said it tasted just like the diners. Score one for me!

Greek Souvlaki Platter

Chicken Souvlaki ‘Platter’
(by Reeni)

1-2 pounds chicken breast
1/3 cup Olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice, fresh squeezed
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 onion, grated
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Oregano
2 dried red chilies
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Metal or wooden skewers
Pita or flatbread

Pound the chicken with a mallet to tenderize and give them an even thickness. Trim away visible fat and tendons. Cut the chicken into strips crosswise about an inch wide. Whisk the rest of the ingredients together. Marinate in a large Ziploc bag or bowl in the refrigerator a couple of hours before cooking or the morning of. If using wooden skewers soak in water for a half hour or so before grilling. Skewer each piece twice lengthwise. Grill on all sides until cooked through. Serve on warm pita with tzatziki sauce and Greek dressing.

Greek Souvlaki Platter

Tzatziki Sauce

1 cup Greek yogurt
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced small
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons lemon juice, fresh squeezed
1 tablespoon fresh dill
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Drain your Greek yogurt in a strainer lined with cheesecloth or a paper towel for a few hours before or overnight. Combine all the ingredients together. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or two before serving.

Greek Souvlaki Platter

Greek Salad

1/2 cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 cup lemon juice, fresh-squeezed
1 tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
Romaine and mixed lettuce
Tomatoes
Cucumber
Red onion
Olives, like Kalamata (or green or black if you don’t like them)
Crumbled Feta

In a food processor emulsify the first five ingredients together. Season with salt and pepper. Mix in the minced garlic. Serve over a salad with Romaine, chopped tomatoes, sliced cucumber, sliced red onion, Kalamata olives (or black or green), and crumbled feta. Also good drizzled over the chicken.

Printable Recipe

Greek Souvlaki Platter

Greek Salad on FoodistaGreek Salad