Thursday, October 29, 2009

Don't-Call-Me-Salsa Chicken (serves 4)

Call me arrogant, but I consider recipes suggestions, inspirations, but not something to necessarily be followed to the letter. I don't exactly measure -- or I don't measure exactly. And I almost always change something -- even this one, the inspiration of which won the $1 million prize in the Pillsbury Bake-Off contest in the late 1990s. Pretty arrogant, eh?

5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 T olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. chopped garlic
1 cup salsa (*See Note)
1/4 cup water
1 T honey
3/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt (I used light sour cream)
Rice or couscous -- cooked according to package directions.
Heat olive oil in large saute pan, add garlic and cook over medium until golden, about five minutes. Add chicken and saute, turning to lightly brown on all sides.
Meanwhile, mix together everything but sour cream. Add salsa mix to chicken, bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover, simmering until chicken is cooked through (about 20 minutes). Remove chicken to a serving platter (you'll want one with sides to hold the sauce in) and keep warm.
Add sour cream and stir with a whisk to combine. Pour sauce over chicken and serve.
Serve with/over rice or couscous (is yummy with the sauce)

*Note -- With more shelf space in the grocery store devoted to salsa than ketchup, you have plenty to choose from and whatever you have (brand, heat, etc.) works in this dish. But don't worry, the honey, cinnamon and cumin change the flavor so dramatically that you won't recognize the salsa. In fact, this tastes more like a dish from Morocco than one from Mexico.

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