Winner, winner, chicken dinner! FAIL

This evening Gamer Man and I got home from work about the same time and were both ravenous (I caught him eating a pre-dinner cookie… for shame!). Not wanting to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, I cooked up some couscous, defrosted 2 chicken breasts in the microwave, popped them in a pan and dumped in 3/4 of a cup of Fresh & Easy’s Mojo Criollo poultry marinade. We’ve used the stuff before and loved it, so how could braising chicken in it go wrong?

I still don’t see how it did, but somehow the kitchen gods were against me and turned our chicken dinner into an unpalatable mess. Besides being questionably cooked through on my part, the piece I popped into my mouth was so salty and citrus-ey that it was all I could do to swallow it. Since I have a higher threshold for salty-tangy foods than Gamer Man, I instantly knew this was not going to fly down his gullet anytime soon… so we gobbled down our couscous and roshambo’d to drive down to the local Del Taco and grab some tacos (hamburger for me!). I wound up driving, but I don’t think it’s going to happen that way again seeing as the drive-thru guy took our paper bag connection as opportunity to hit on me (WITH GAMER MAN IN THE CAR NEXT TO ME). 

I believe we’ve all learned a lesson here: 
Me: Marinades are for marinading… not braising or sauces. 
GM: He literally can’t take me anywhere.

Oh, and that Del Taco definitely hits the hunger spot :)


Phase Days

The other day Gamer Man was feeling ill, so he requested soup for dinner. Not being the kind to dump a can into a bowl, heat it, and call it dinner, I took it upon myself to make it from scratch and let me tell you… it was THE most amazing soup I’ve ever had! If you like chicken tortilla soup, read on. If not, READ ON! I swear if you give it a try, you’ll never go back to canned again :D

FTY Original:

2 Tbl olive oil
1 white onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium jalepenos, seeded and diced
1 small can diced Rotel green chiles (apx 4-5oz)
3 frozen skinless chicken breasts
1 Tbl cumin
1 Tbl chili powder
1 32oz box low sodium chicken broth
1 8oz can black beans
1 8oz can Mexican tomato sauce
2 Tbl tomato paste

1. Season the frozen chicken breasts with a dash of salt, cumin, and pepper. Pop those puppies in a pan or on your handy-dandy Foreman grill and cook until done (about 10 minutes at medium heat on the Foreman).
2. While the chicken cooks, heat olive oil in a large pot on medium heat. Add the onions and jalepenos to the pot and sweat those babies out for 3 minutes (remember to stir so nothing sticks!!!).
3. Toss in the garlic and diced green chiles in the pot and stir until heated through (about another 2 minutes). Add the cumin and chili powder and let the mixture steep for another 2-3 minutes.
4. Stir in the chicken broth, tomato sauce and paste, and beans.
5. By this time, the chicken should be done, so pop them on a cutting board and either dice or shred them. Add your chicken pieces to the pot, cover with a lid, and simmer on low for 30 minutes.

At this point I won’t blame you for wanting to rip right in to the soup, but if you want to make it to be chicken TORTILLA soup, you have one more step:

FRIED TORTILLA STRIPS! They were such a hit, Gamer Man gave me lots of smoochies (and his cold… bleh!) as a reward for dinging on the “best girlfriend” scale :) Woot!

Frying up tortilla strips is remarkably easier than I had thought. Just whip out a medium sized pot and fill it about half an inch high with Canola oil. Heat it on medium while you slice the tortilla strips. Since I only eat corn tortillas if forced at gunpoint, I used 2 medium sized flour tortillas for this delicious experiment. Slice the tortillas into 1/4 inch strips (thinner is actually better, but I’m not about to whip out my ruler and get all exact on you) and bundle them into small hand-fulls of about 7-8 strips. Scrunch them in your fist and toss them into the heated oil (be sure you test a strip first to ensure the oil is ready). While they’re popping away, lay out a couple paper towels near the pot so you can drain the tortilla strips. Get your tongs and toss the strips for about 10-15 seconds, depending on how crispy you like them. Fish them out using a catch or tongs, and place them on the awaiting paper towels. Sprinkle with a dash of salt while the oil is still fresh on the strips, then repeat the frying process with the rest of the strips.

FYI you may want to fry up some additional strips because you’ll definitely be nom-noming on them while you’re frying everything up… and remind yourself later that these make GREAT gameday snacks if cut thicker and paired with salsa.

Once the soup is finished, plate and garnish it with your tasty tortilla strips and a bit of cheese and voila!!!

Yum yum yum!