Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Little Spice is Nice

A purist would say that I am cheating. I would say that I am bending the rules of my own game because this is one of my favorite recipes and I had a hankering for some peppers, hence the Baked Chicken Chile Relleno featured for dinner last night.

This is one of my favorite low-cal, make-ahead recipes. At only 260 calories and 10 grams of fat, Betty Crocker got this one right. First, pound your chicken breasts between two pieces of wax paper until they are about 1/2 inch think. Then, you put a green chile, a small cubed stick of Monterey Jack cheese, cilantro at the top of the chicken breast, and sprinkle black pepper and cayenne on the inside. You can control the heat by using more or less green chile and more or less of the pepper. For the DH who isn't happy unless the food makes him sweat, a liberal coating of cayenne inside and out is a must. Roll up the chicken breast and tuck in the sides to make a chicken roll-up.

I usually multi-task and make this the night before while I'm waiting on something else to cook. I wrap the roll-ups in some foil, twist the ends, and refrigerate until the next night. This eliminates the need for toothpicks to hold your chicken together and reduces your prep time to almost nothing for the next night. The trick also works with about 4 hours of refrigerator time.

When you are ready to cook, dip each chicken roll-up in a mixture of one egg and a tablespoon of water and then dredge in 3 tbsp of cornmeal mixed with 1/3 cup of flour and more cayenne. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

We like to put some heated Herdez brand Salsa Verde over our chicken after it comes out of the oven. Again, this will make it a little spicier, but it also keeps the coated chicken from being too dry.

Sauce that chicken, cut in and enjoy the oozy cheese and pepper! It really is yummier than the over-exposed photo I have posted here. Next up, the cheese celebration continues with Skinny Stuffed Shells.

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