Monday, February 8, 2010

Southwestern Chicken Cacciatore

You may have noticed a lot of visual weirdness at Nibble Me This since this weekend. I ran into some bandwidth issues on the hosting site for the header and background. My good friend & template guru, Brandi, is fixing it for me this week but there might be some speed bumps along the way.

I'm pretty proud of this dish because not only did I make it up on my own, I did it on the fly using what I had with what I thought would work and the whole family loved it.

I was GOING to make a knock off of Ruby Tuesdays' Sonora Chicken or Aubrey Cafe's Rattlesnake Pasta, but I realized that the chicken thighs I had were not boneless, but bone in. So I opened the fridge and changed gears...

Nibble Me This Southwestern Chicken Cacciatore

5 ea chicken thighs, bone in, skin on
1-2 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 ea serrano chili, seeded and finely diced
3 ea mini sweet bell pepper, seeded, diced (substitute 1 sweet bell pepper)
1 ea vidalia onion, diced
1 ea jalapeno, seeded and diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled (kept whole)
2 oz Tequila
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 ea beef steak tomato, cut into wedges
cilantro or parsley for garnish

Put an oven proof skillet in the oven and allow to preheat to 350f.

Make a rub with the chili powder, pepper, cumin and salt. Season both sides of the chicken thighs.

Place the heated skillet on the stove top burner over medium-high heat and add oil. Add thighs skin side down and sear for 5 minutes. Flip and sear the other side for 5 minutes.

Remove chicken to a plate. Reserve one tablespoon of oil in the pan and pour the rest into a glass measuring cup. Add chicken broth to measure 1/2 cup and keep for later in the recipe.

Add the onions, peppers, and garlic to the pan and saute until the onions begin to soften, about 4-5 minutes.

Deglaze the pan with the Tequila. Most of it will evaporate off in just 1 minute. Return the chicken to the pan. Pour the broth/drippings mixture and the diced tomatoes over the chicken. Top with the tomato wedges.

Put back into the 350f oven until the thighs reach an internal temperature of 180f (relax....they're bone in thighs, they can take the heat without getting dry). This took about 30 minutes in the oven. Top with cilantro or for those of you cilantro-phobes, parsley.

We served it with rice topped with the veggie mixture and some quickie "non-refried refried beans"(one link chorizo crumbled and browned, mixed with one can of Bush Mixed Beans [pinto & northern] topped with cheese).

I was kind of worried that this would be too spicy hot but it wasn't. Even the 10 y/o loved this and he doesn't like much heat. Now that we made this out of the blue, just based on what we had on hand....I'll definitely be making this again on purpose.

Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. Maybe tonight was a bit of both.