8.11.2011

A Meal in the Microwave - in 23 Minutes!

Don't jump the gun too fast, at first I saw this recipe and thought, "Chicken? In the microwave? No thanks." But then I saw the amount of time to make it - 23 minutes - and I couldn't resist.

If you're looking for something with a Mexican flare, and doesn't take all day/evening to prep and cook, try this recipe out. It was simple, and surprised me with it's great taste!

Cheesy Chicken Chilaquiles
1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast (I used 4 good size breasts)

1 tbsp Southwestern Seasoning Mix (if you don't have any in your spice rack, and/or can't find it in the grocery market, try using taco seasoning instead)

1 3/4 cups salsa verde

1 cup 33% reduced-sodium chicken broth

3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

12 cups authentic restaurant-style tortilla chips (use the thickest chips you can find - I used Mission brand tortilla strips and was very happy with the result)

2 cups shredded Chihuahua cheese (Mozzarella, Monterey Jack, or a Mexican blend work as great substitutes)

1 cup queso fresco cheese (all my grocery store had was a chipotle blend, and it worked GREAT - check the soft cheeses to find this particular type of cheese, it may be by the ricotta)

Sour cream (optional)

1. Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces. Combine chicken and seasoning mix in a Deep Dish Baker. Spread chicken evenly over bottom of baker. Microwave, covered, on HIGH 4 minutes; stir to separate chicken. Microwave, covered, and additional 4 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink. Drain using a small colander.
I use Pampered Chef's Deep Covered Baker - one of my favorite kitchen pieces. If you don't own one, put it on your Christmas/Birthday list! 
2. Combine salsa and broth. Chop cilantro. Arrange half of the tortilla chips over the bottom of the same baker, breaking chips (if needed); top with half of each chicken, salsa mixture, and cheeses. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of cilantro. Repeat layers one time, ending with cheeses.

3. Microwave, covered, on HIGH for 5-7 minutes, or until cheeses are melted and most of the liquid is absorbed. Let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cilantro. Serve with sour cream, if desired.

To cut down on prep time in the evening, I pre-cut the chicken the afternoon before I prepared the meal. I also snipped the cilantro before-hand.
Upper Left: The chicken with seasoning before entering the microwave.
Middle: The finished product!
Lower Right: The salsa verde and chicken broth mixture.

Because of it's quick prep time, and great Mexican flavor, it has been added to our "keep" list!

Enjoy.

Source: 29 Minutes to Dinner, Volume 2/Pampered Chef

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