Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Perfect Autumn Meal: Salsa Chicken, Cumin Chick Peas, Green Beens with Garlic and Tri color Cousous

This was one of those "what would happen if..." recipes...

I had a recipe for chicken with olives. And there was this large jar of salsa which seemed to shout out "use me! use me!" and because I can never leave a recipe well enough alone I decided to toss the jar on top of the chicken and bake it in the oven. Well, this has to be one of my best science experiments ever. It is a go-to easy recipe if we have last minute company. It is flavorful, easy and fool-proof! I like to serve it with couscous, a green veggie and chick peas. The meal has a sort of Mediterranean feel to it. Though I am not sure where in Europe you'd find salsa on the menu!

To make the chicken you will need:
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts -- trimmed into portions the size of your palm.
1 large jar of good chunky salsa -- doesn't have to be an expensive variety, however.
1 can of black olives
3/4 cup of green olives
2 tbs of olive oil
salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste

Add olive oil to a hot, largish saute pan
Add chicken, about 3 or 4 pieces at a time
Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder
When browned flip over and season other side. Do not cook fully as it will finish cooking in the oven.
When chicken is done place into large ceramic baking dish.
Repeat above steps until all the chicken has been browned.
Pour salsa over the chicken and spread evenly. Add olives.
Place in preheated oven, 375 for about 20 minutes, or until thoroughly cooked through.
If necessary, keep chicken in oven, on warm until ready to serve.

Meanwhile... prepare couscous per directions on package.
For this recipe I tend to stay away from the Near East and other varieties that are flavored.
I use a plain couscous and add just a little bit of salt to taste.
This can be reheated quickly in the microwave just prior to serving, if necessary.

Cumin Chick Peas are my new favorite treat! I like to make extra just so I can snack on them!
These can either be lightly sauteed in a pan or baked in the oven. Both yield fabulous, flavorful and crunchy results!

You'll need:
2 cans of chick peas, drained and rinsed
1 - 2 tsp of ground cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
Sea salt to taste
2 tbs of olive oil

In Pan:
Add olive oil to hot pan
Add chick peas and seasonings and cook until the chick peas start to brown.
Some of the skins will peel off... this is OK and delish!

In oven:
Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well.
Place on a jelly roll or cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes until lightly brown and crispy. If you want to cook these longer, please do!

Garlicky Green Beans

You'll need:
1 - 2 lbs fresh haricots vert, thin green beans (or if you have access to really good frozen ones like Trader Joe's brand)
2 - 3 tbs olive oil
1 - 2 tsp garlic powder
Sea salt and pepper to taste

In a large, hot pan add oil and green beans, saute, add garlic powder, salt and pepper and cook about 5 minutes so that beans are tender but still crisp. Some of the beans will caramelize. My kids love these beans the best!

1 comment:

Glenna said...

I loved this meal and so did Mr. Happy. Definitely a KEEPER!!