chicken

Zippers (and Santa Fe Chicken)

Yes, yes, yes, I know that March’s project is supposed to be aprons. I’ve made two, and I bought a pattern for another, but you know what I learned how to do the other day?

ZIPPERS.

I was terrified of zippers because they seemed so complicated. There are two pieces, and they have to line up and they are a functional closure. I thought so much could go wrong, and then I took a step back and said, “It’s a goddamn zipper, life will go on, just do this.” So I made this pouch. Well, to clarify, I’ve made five such pouches. Three of them turned out great, and two of them are sort of wonky. But three of them turned out great! Yay for me!

When I attempt to use a paper pattern for the first time, I will definitely provide a step-by-step illustrated guide to my confusion.

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Our awesome friends from the Midwest visited last weekend and shared this great recipe with me. It’s based on a recipe from Pinterest, but I just sort of threw it together, recipes be damned. (To be honest, when a recipe is mostly, “Open cans and dump contents out,” you don’t really need a tutorial.) Plop the chicken on top of the corn pudding, top with cheese and cilantro, and eat until you burst.

Santa Fe Chicken

  • 1 can Hatch chiles (the little can)
  • 1 can spicy corn (the little can)
  • 1 can hominy
  • 1 can black-eyed peas
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can black beans
  • cumin, to taste
  • chili powder, to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 C chicken stock or broth

Dump all the cans into the crockpot. Add spices and stir. Push the chicken down into the mixture, and pour stock over all. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, until chicken is falling apart. Shred, and serve over corn pudding.

Corn Pudding

  • 1 can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 can cream-style corn, not drained
  • 1 stick butter (I KNOW, IT’S DELICIOUS)
  • 1 C sour cream
  • 1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix

Melt butter in a casserole dish (I used an 8×8 dish). Add remaining ingredients and mix. Bake 45 minutes at 350F.

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Snowy Day (and Crockpot Buffalo Chicken)

We sort of had a white Xmas. During the day, it was in the 40s, and around dinnertime, it started sleeting. We woke up to awful roads (because they don’t plow here; why don’t they plow here??), but thankfully we had no place to go, just like the song.

It started snowing early this morning. It is still snowing. It’s going to snow all day, and tomorrow, too. Snowy days call for something in the crockpot, and a spicy something is especially good. I made this yesterday; it’s also really good for parties, like the SuperBowl (Go Pack Go, perhaps?).

 

Crockpot Buffalo Chicken

  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 12 oz. bottle Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo sauce (you can use the Extra Hot Buffalo kind, but watch out, because that stuff does not mess around)
  • 1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch mix (I use Spicy Ranch, which adds just enough zip to be interesting, but it doesn’t burn off your face)

Dump all of this into your crockpot. Mix it around to coat the chicken. Don’t worry about mixing in all of the ranch; it’ll melt in there gradually. Cook on low for 6 hours. Shred chicken in the crock, and stir to mix with that delicious sauce.

Serving suggestions:

You can serve this on cocktail buns with pickles and extra ranch on the side. It’s equally good wrapped up in romaine lettuce leaves. We’ve used it to make Buffalo chicken pizza before. It’s so ridiculously good and stupidly simple.

SECRET PROJECT NUMBER ONE (and Crock Pot “Roast” Chicken)

So Mr. Something and I have been working on SECRET PROJECT NUMBER ONE for the past few weeks, and while I can’t reveal anything right now, know that it is very exciting. (Spoiler: it does not involve my uterus.) I can’t wait to tell everyone at the end of this month!

Yesterday I wanted to make something easy, but delicious, so I made a chicken in the crock pot. Now, many recipes for this sort of chicken will call it “roast chicken,” but I think it lacks the crispiness I associate with roasting, so maybe “the best chicken ever that sort of steams in its own juices” is more appropriate.

I adapted this from Iowa Girl Eats, one of my favorite cooking sites. She recommends taking the chicken skin off–unless you are on a super low-fat diet, do not do this. Just… don’t. Chicken fat is one of the joys in life. EAT SOME JOY.

Crock Pot “Roast” Chicken

adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

  • 4lb chicken (if yours comes with giblets, take ’em out)
  • 2T melted butter
  • 2T olive oil
  • 1T Hungarian paprika (do not use smoked)
  • 1T granulated garlic
  • 2t kosher salt
  • 1t onion powder
  • 1t Italian seasoning (I used Penzeys Pasta Sprinkle)
  • a few generous grinds of black pepper
  • 6 foil balls (it’s very fun to crumple them up)

Put the foil balls in the bottom of the crock pot. Mix the spices with the butter and oil and rub them over the chicken (if you use disposable gloves, your life will be easier and your hands won’t be disgusting). Put the chicken, breast side up, on the foil balls. Cook on low for 6 to 7 hours. It will be so tender that you might have to take it out of the crock pot in chunks.

This chicken was amazing straight out of the crock pot, but it’d also be perfect for chicken salad (both mayonnaisey and lettucey), enchiladas, etc.