Thursday, February 4, 2010

Meg's Salsa Verde Chicken - Simple, Healthy and Bursting with Flava

Meg and I were sitting at Da Franco's one day when she told me about the most amazing (yet simple) chicken dish she made for her and her boyfriend Tom.  Her instructions, using poached chicken cooked in basically no fat (water instead of stock) made me curious to try a new way of making chicken.  I'm not a big poacher and usually bake or sautee my protein. However, since trying this dish, I'm a total convert.  Try it on a casual weeknight or make it for friends - you can certainly dress this baby up or down. 

Meg's Salsa Verde Chicken (serves 2)

1 full chicken breast, preferably organic/humanely raised
Spices - Amounts undetermined, whatever you like.  Meg used salt, black pepper, cumin, Mexican oregano, thyme, red pepper flakes.  I used salt, pepper and spicy Mexican seasoning from Crema restaurant.
Salsa Verde - 1 12 oz jar.  We both used the one from Trader Joe's
1 cup of brown rice
Generous handful of Mexican cheese such as a cheddar/jalapeno mix
Fresh cilantro, chopped (about 1 small handful)

Make rice according to directions on the packaging.

Cut up the chicken breast into pieces like chicken tenders.

Bring water and spices to a boil and add chicken.  Turn heat down to encourage a gentle boil.  Cook chicken in liquid for as long as it takes to cook all the way through - maybe 15 minutes or so.

Drain the chicken, and put on a plate. Rinse out the pot.  Shred the chicken using two forks (one to steady the warm chicken and the other one to do the shredding).  No need to wash off any errant spices, they just add to the dish.

Put shredded chicken back in the pot and dump in a jar of Salsa Verde.  Further shred any chicken you would like. 

Simmer for about 15 minutes.

Plate by putting the rice on the bottom of a medium bowl, then top with Salsa Verde chicken, cheese and fresh cilantro.  Since the chicken will still be warm, it'll melt the cheese, providing a wonderfully gooey texture.

Note from Meg:
This is a "base dish"- chicken breasts cooked in spiced liquid with sauce.   You could make this with salsa roja, moles of all kinds, Moroccan sauce, Thai sauce - anything!  Use a corresponding grain and/or legume.  It could be made into an Indian dish with a curry sauce, basmati rice, and dal.  If you cooked it simply in chicken broth and salt and pepper, with white rice it would be a mild dish when you're not feeling so great but need nourishment.

Thanks for a great idea Meg!


  1. This looks delicious. I wish we had a Trader Joe's in Hawaii!

  2. I know, TJ's rocks. But you can make salsa verde sauce or buy it anywhere. Enjoy the recipe!

  3. That looks so yummy. I love TJ's items. Can't wait to try it.

  4. Enjoy! :) I love TJ's too!



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