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Monday, March 16, 2009

Spanish Chicken Casserole FTW!

It's been almost 4 hours since we ate dinner and I'll still thinking about this recipe!

I would absolutely recommend it to anyone looking for a new way to prepare chicken.

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (I only used 2, but I had to cut mine in half because they were huge!)
2 tablespoons of canola oil (I used vegetable oil without a problem)
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped green pepper (I just chopped up one whole green pepper... probably ended up being almost a 1/2 cup)
1 garlic clove, minced (I used 1/4 teaspoon of dried minced garlic)
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup water
3/4 cup uncooked long grain white rice (Uncle Ben's Converted Rice is the friggin' bomb!)
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
1 - 3 teaspoons of chili powder (I used about 2.5 teaspoons and that was plenty)
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup of picante sauce (you can seriously just eyeball it)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (again, just eyeball it)
1 small can sliced black olives, drained

Step 1:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat brown the chicken breasts in oil for 2 -3 minutes on each side. Remove the breasts and set them aside. In the same skillet, saute the onion, green pepper, and garlic until tender (about 5-7 minutes). Stir in the tomatoes, water, rice, bouillon, and seasonings (chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, and black pepper). Bring to a boil.

Step 2:
Pour the mixture into a lightly greased 11x7x2in. baking dish and place the chicken on top of the mixture (I wiggled the chicken down a little and turned it once to make sure it was coated with the juices from the mixture). Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for 35 - 40 minutes. Top the chicken with the picante sauce and the cheese and bake for 5 more minutes (until the cheese is melted). Garnish it with the olives and serve.

Seriously, this recipe is one of the best that we've tried recently. All told it took about an hour and 15 minutes to put together and cook. It was so savory and it had just enough spice to satisfy a heat hound like me without overpowering anyone else in the family.

Bonus... the house still smells like this dish even several hours later. I LOVE that! It just makes our townhouse feel just that much more like "home".

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