When I did a post last week marking the fourth anniversary of Never Enough Thyme, I asked if people would comment and tell me what they’d like to see more of here on the blog. Some of the most frequent responses were “quick and easy” and “kid friendly.”
I just want you to know that I heard you! Loud and clear.
Now, I’m not promising that all I’ll post going forward are quick and easy family recipes. You know how I like to try out new things in the kitchen. But, for today at least I’m going to give you a new favorite of ours.
Every once in a while I find a recipe that turns out so well I can’t wait to make it again. I love those, don’t you? This is definitely one. I first tried it out on a Wednesday night and it was so awesome that I made it again on Saturday.
It easily fits the quick and easy category and it’s definitely kid-friendly. Especially if your kids like tacos!
Of course you know that I had to tweak the original recipe, don’t you? That original recipe was called “Mexican Chicken,” but by the time I’d thrown in some black olives and used cheddar cheese, it didn’t seem quite right to label it “Mexican.” It became somewhat more international, I think, thus the title Southwestern Style Chicken.
I also thought about using Monterey Jack instead of the cheddar, but honestly I don’t think it would be quite as good with jack cheese. There’s just something about that combination of enchilada sauce and cheddar that’s pretty unbeatable. I hope you’ll give this one a try and let me know what you think.
To start, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a casserole or baking dish with cooking spray and set it aside. Next, you’ll need to cut the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and toss them with some taco seasoning. You can use a purchased taco seasoning, or mix up your own. I’m including my taco seasoning recipe for you. It’s easy to put together and keeps a log time in the pantry.
Put a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. Cook the chicken until it’s a little browned and has stiffened up. Don’t worry about cooking it all the way through, it will finish cooking in the oven. You just want to get some good browning on it at this point.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the salt, enchilada sauce, black olives, cilantro, and green chilies. Turn the mixture into the prepared casserole or baking dish.
Top the mixture with the grated cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Remove from the oven and scatter green onions over the top.
Serve with warm flour or corn tortillas – whichever you prefer. I usually serve with sides of buttered, whole kernel corn and guacamole salad.
- Cooking spray
- 2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 tblsp. taco seasoning (see recipe below)
- 4 tblsp. oil
- 1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
- 1 10 oz. can enchilada sauce
- 8-10 large black olives, sliced
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 1 4 oz. can diced green chilies
- 8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 5-6 green onions, chopped
- 1 tblsp. chili powder
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp. onion powder
- 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- (To make the taco seasoning: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well. Store leftovers in a tightly sealed container.)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Coat a casserole or baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
- Toss the chicken with the taco seasoning. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook, stirring, until chicken is almost cooked through. It will finish cooking in the oven.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the salt, enchilada sauce, black olives, cilantro, and green chilies. Turn the mixture into the prepared casserole or baking dish. Sprinkle the top with the grated cheese.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
- Remove from the oven and scatter green onions over the top.
--Adapted from Linda’s Low Carb Menus and Recipes Mexican Chicken
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Other southwestern inspired recipes you might enjoy from around the internet:
- Layered Mexican Casserole from Kalyn’s Kitchen
- Cha Cha Bowl from Jeanette’s Healthy Living
- Crispy Mexican Chicken from Amanda’s Cookin’
- Chicken Fajitas from Homesick Texan
- Caldo Tlalpeño (Spicy Chicken Soup) from Kayotic Kitchen
- Cilantro Serrano Mexican Rice from Creative Culinary
What I was up to…