Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Reflective Weekend With Chicken

Memorial Day weekend had its reflective moments for me. I have had the misfortune of losing 3 grandparents within the last few months. Two of them were my two grandfathers, and both were vets. One went on to have a career with the VA, and one went on to be a public school superintendent.

The third that recently left us was my step-grandmother, who was a RN and a Seventh-Day Adventist. Both her career and religion had an effect on her cooking, and she would bring us low sugar cookies stuffed with seeds and dried fruits that were really quite delicious. The first Christmas after I got married she gave me a cookbook called "Healthy Choices," which I really appreciated.

Over the last few years as we have been embarking on our healing allergen-free diets, this cookbook has been sadly neglected. Last Friday I brushed the dust off of it and revamped one of our old favorites to fit our current way of eating. It was a great way to sit back and remember these great people I have had in my life and look forward to meeting again one day. I have my own way of preparing this recipe, and so I thought it would be appropriate to share here.

Spicy Southwest Chicken Skillet

4 chicken breast halves, boneless and skinless, or bone-in with the skin pulled off
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 can drained black beans
1/3 cup thick and chunky salsa

Mix the chili powder, salt and pepper. Rub on both sides of the chicken. Heat oil in a 10 inch skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken in skillet, turning once, until juices run clear. (This will take 8-10 minutes or more if using bone-in.) Stir in beans and salsa. Heat to boiling and then cover and reduce heat to simmer. I like to simmer off much of the salsa liquid, as condensing gives it great flavor. Serve with rice.

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