Avocado Mango Chicken is a recipe that doesn’t seem like it should work. With Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce in the marinade, you wouldn’t think that it would go well with an avocado mango salsa, but it is delicious. Rather than serving a corn tortilla on the side, like the recipe suggests, I like to serve the cooked chicken chopped, on the tortillas like tacos, with the salsa on top. We use slightly more salt than is called for, but otherwise we do this as written. I also like to use just the salsa by itself on No Waste Tacos de Carnitas. Unfortunately, the salsa doesn’t keep well, so we try not to make more than we think we can consume in a single meal.
Introducing an avocado into any meal can make meal planning challenging, since the avocado has a fairly narrow window of perfect eating. One trick we have learned, is that uncut avocados can be placed in the refrigerator when they are ready to eat. This will slow the ripening process and give you a couple more days’ worth of potential perfect eating. When you buy groceries exactly once a week like I do, this is a bonus. I can grocery shop on Sunday or Monday and I can still plan this recipe on a Friday and not have to worry that the avocado will be brown and yucky by the time I need it.
Chicken and Bean Stuffed Burritos originally had black beans in the title, but since as a family we’re not crazy about black beans, we use pinto beans instead. Either way, this simple recipe is a handy one to have around. It uses “rotisserie chicken breast,” which at my house just means leftover roast chicken. I have one child who doesn’t like beans, but because the beans are added separately from the chicken, it’s easy enough to leave them off. The method, finishing the assembled burritos in a large skillet, with another skillet on top, takes practice. It’s easy to burn the burritos so you have to watch them carefully. Once you have mastered the technique, however, it works for any kind of burrito you want, producing a crispy outside crust reminiscent of fast-food deep-fried burritos, just homemade. The recipe says it makes just four burritos, but with the size of flour tortillas we buy, and my desire for them to fold up neatly, we consistently get eight.
Sunny’s Double-Decker Blackened Honey Chicken is supposed to be cooked on a grill underneath a pan of Accordion Sweet Potatoes. The sweet potato recipe is dairy-heavy and I really prefer my sweet potatoes unadulterated anyway, so all I really wanted was the chicken. To account for the weight difference between an empty cast iron skillet and one full of sweet potatoes, I added a second, slightly smaller, cast iron skillet on top. The chicken turned out surprisingly juicy and flavorful. We tried this recipe for the first time last summer, and by the end of the summer we had already repeated it several times. We have never drizzled it with honey at the end. We just forgot the first time, and after that, decided it really didn’t need it. I bet it’s good, though.
Mu Shu in Moments is a recipe that I pull out anytime I plan a whole roasted chicken or turkey and know I will have leftovers. The original recipe calls for a rotisserie chicken, but there isn’t any reason not to use home-roasted poultry. The recipe also calls for a bag of coleslaw mix, but again, there is no reason not to use self-sliced cabbage. Generally speaking, the more you can do yourself, the cheaper, healthier and fresher your food will be. That said, leftovers are nice for lunch the next day, heated up and eaten with an individual bag of corn chips. A play on a Chinese dish, while this meal certainly isn’t authentic Chinese food, I think maybe that’s ok as long as it tastes good.
Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings calls for a large chicken breast, but when we make it we use a leftover roast chicken carcass with most of the meat already picked off and it works great! I think this would also be a great use for some pieces of a leftover turkey carcass. For the dumplings, we use Wesson Oil Biscuits instead of the one in this recipe. Using our biscuits makes the recipe dairy-free. A delicious hot meal for the end of a chilly November day!
Slow-Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala is a favorite of the entire family. It has a hint of Indian spice, without being too spicy for the kids. If you want to follow all of the cooking instructions, you can get it ready the night before, store in the refrigerator, and then start up the slow-cooker in the morning. You can skip the cilantro; it’s just a garnish. We serve it with jasmine rice made in our rice steamer.
Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken is a simple and tasty way to cook chicken in your crock pot. I love this recipe because it calls for simple ingredients like soy sauce and red wine vinegar instead of bottled teriyaki sauce. I like to use dark meat chicken for this, and in my crock pot it really can’t go more than four or five hours. All crock pots are different, though; it’s important to know yours. For four pounds of dark meat on-the-bone chicken, I double the sauce portion of the recipe. I always serve the resulting teriyaki chicken over white rice cooked in my rice steamer. The leftovers are wonderful reheated for lunch the next day, as well.