Partly due to some mislabeled chicken thighs at Ralphs, I was able to buy our groceries this week for 12 dollars. Awesome. This also allowed me to finally try the Rick Bayless creamy salsa chicken recipe I first saw over at Mary Ellen's Cooking Creations.
The dish is as simple as it gets to make. Brush the bottom of a 9x13ish baking pan with oil and line with one layer of boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or thighs, in this case). Mix your choice of chunky salsa and heavy whipping cream and spoon mixture over the chicken. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes on the bottom shelf.
The original recipe calls for one 16oz jar of salsa and 1/2 cup cream to make the salsa mixture, but this resulted in quite a bit of extra sauce. Next time I make it, I'll probably make only two-thirds or one half of the suggested amount.
I used about half Pace spicy chunky salsa and half Trader Joe's chipotle salsa. I loved the smokiness and complexity of the end result, but my husband found the chipotle a bit overpowering. Next time I'll likely use a more traditional salsa, but add jalapeños for kick.
For sides, I sauteed some zucchini with garlic and tomatoes, then topped with a little mozzarella cheese. We also had some mushrooms left over so I cooked them, also with garlic, in a little white wine. Finally, we still had some of that corn salad hanging around, and it was a refreshing and colorful addition to the plate.
My favorite thing about this meal is that it took only about 35 minutes to prepare. Yet it was flavorful and balanced. Yum. I am really starting to like this cooking thing.