Chicken Picadillo

18 Nov

Chicken Picadillo | Adventures of a Hungry Redhead
After a couple of disappointing baking experiments it dawned on me that I am trying way too hard to find new recipes to post on the blog. Why am I not just going with my tried and true favorites? Part of me could be subconsciously hoarding them for myself, I mean, I am an only child.

When it comes to cooking dinner I definitely stick to a handful of favorites. It’s a feeling like your dog ran away when you spend the entire day and all your grocery budget on a new recipe for dinner only to end up with something inedible.

My favorite dinner dishes use minimal special ingredients, use up what I have sitting in my pantry, require little prep and provide ample leftovers. This Chicken Picadillo that I spotted in Cooking Light years ago checks all those boxes.
Chicken Picadillo | Adventures of a Hungry Redhead
This stuff should be called man bait. It’s the perfect first meal to cook for someone you’re dating. Why? Well with all the reasons above, you’re not going to need five shopping bags full of food to make it, it’s basic enough that even picky eaters can enjoy and with all those leftovers your date’s going to be thinking of how kick ass you are at least once a day for the next three days.

With all the carb hating going on these days, this is an excellent dish for people wanting to be Paleorific or South Beachtastic. You can serve it over a bed of lettuce or even some cauliflower rice.

Chicken Picadillo | Adventures of a Hungry Redhead
I realize with the cauliflower rice it gets a little monochromatic. It looks prettier on a bed of leafy greens with some Queso Fresco on top does it not?

Chicken Picadillo also goes great on regular rice, quinoa or cous cous. You can use it to make tacos or quesadillas and it can even make some mean loaded nachos if you pour it over tortilla chips, sprinkle with cheese and zap in the microwave (notice I have no photos of such debauchery).

This recipe makes wonderful use of leftover chicken breasts, but before I had a food processor, I would just buy ground chicken at the store.

It also helps you get rid of that half jar of salsa in your fridge. I like this best with a chunky black bean and corn-type salsa.

Chicken Picadillo | Adventures of a Hungry Redhead
Honestly, this recipe is so versatile, you could throw in your own corn, beans, diced peppers etc. if you wanted to. While we’re talking ingredient specifics, have you noticed this has cinnamon and cloves in it? I know that sounds strange but trust me, it is totally necessary. It’s one of those flavors that keeps everyone guessing what your “secret ingredient” is and if your date is watching you cook and sees you add cinnamon and cloves to simmering chicken, it blows their mind. They are frightened… but intrigued… you woman of mystery you!

Chicken Picadillo
by Cooking Light

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup bottled salsa
1/3 cup golden raisins (optional)
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Place chicken in a food processor and pulse until ground.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chicken, cumin, salt, cinnamon, and garlic, and cook for 3 minutes or until chicken is done, stirring frequently. Stir in salsa and raisins (if using). Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir in almonds and cilantro.

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