Cooking On A Budget: Southwestern Chicken on Crispy Tortilla

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Southwestern Chicken on Crispy Tortilla

Southwestern Chicken on Crispy Tortilla with Queso and Sour Cream = spicy, flavorful, easy to make and fits into cooking on a budget. Chicken was on sale, the queso and salsa I purchased at Wal Mart for below grocery store pricing.  All in all this meal cost around $10.00. It feeds anywhere from 6-8 people depending on how you portion it.

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts - cut into bite sized pieces
1 16 oz. can whole tomatoes with the juice
1 ea. yellow and green bell pepper - roasted (explained below)
1 16.5 jar prepared salsa (I used medium heat)
1 16.5 jar prepared queso sauce - at room temperature
1 small container sour cream
1 pkg. 10" flour tortillas
1 1/2 cup sweet onion - medium dice
1 4 oz. can green chilies - chopped
1 tbsp. fresh garlic - minced
2 tsp. oil (any kind) to coat chicken
3 tbsp. for frying the tortillas
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. kosher salt - use less if you are using table salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. granulated garlic
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

After you have washed, dried and cut your chicken, place in a glass bowl.  Add in the 2 tsp. oil and all of the spices.  Mix well to coat.  Set aside while you roast your peppers.
Right on your gas stove top as I did, you can roast your peppers.  You could also use your grill or roast them in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes.  The photograph shows what you need to achieve.  Place the roasted peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap for about 20 minutes. After that remove the outer char from the peppers and remove the seeds.  Give the peppers a rough chop.

In a deep skillet heat on medium-medium high drop in all of the spiced raw chicken.  You want to separate the pieces and keep turning to give them a quick sear on the outside. This takes maybe 2 minutes.  Remove to a bowl or plate.

Turn the heat down to medium low and add the onion to the same skillet. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the onion turns translucent and then add in the minced garlic, stir and cook for 1 minute or so. To the pan add in the chopped bell peppers and the green chiles.

Before concentration
 Add in the salsa and the can of tomatoes with the juice.  Break the tomatoes down with a spoon; add the chicken back in the pan as well and stir the mixture.  Cover and cook for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes remove the cover and allow the flavors to concentrate and reduce the liquid which takes about 20 minutes more. At the end of that time, turn off the heat and recover while you "fry" the tortillas.
After concentration and liquid has reduced
In a 10 inch skillet add in the remainder of the oil.

Bring the oil up to 330-340 degrees over medium heat.  Fry each tortilla for about 1 minute or so on each side and remove to drain on paper towels.  Repeat the process for each tortilla you fry. If the tortilla starts to bubble up, use your tongs and press down the bubbles.
With a large kitchen serving spoon scoop up the chicken and place
on one half side of the tortilla. Add the queso sauce (room temperature or warmed) above the chicken mixture along with a dollop or so of sour cream.  Fold the tortilla in half.  This gets messy and sloppy but dive in and use your hands and bite away or cut with a knife and fork.

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