Almost-effortless Santa Fe chicken
Weeknight dinners, before child, often consisted of me lingering over simmering coq au vin, and us eating at 9:30, which was perfectly fine when we had little else to do in the evenings. Now, I have to admit that I've given up much of my dinner snobbishness and am happy as a little pig in stink when I can do a whole dinner and I don't have to chop a single vegetable for myself, and there's no roux to fuss over or hollandaise to break. I like a simple weeknight meal and I'm not ashamed to admit that from time to time that means opening a series of cans. Sue me. The results are, more often than not, delicious, not to mention fast and easy.
I remembered this little gem recently and was so grateful for its re-emergence from the corners of my mind. It's a crowd-pleaser, inexpensive and super simple. Yay me! Yay pregnancy cravings, which I can thank for pulling this little number up from the annals of dinners past. Santa Fe chicken is spicy cheesy goodness. What is not to like?
Easy Santa Fe Chicken
4 or 5 good-sized chicken breasts
1 can black beans
1 can corn
2 cans Rotel (whatever heat level you like)
1 cup shredded cheddar
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Use one tablespoon of butter to grease the bottom of a large casserole dish. Place the chicken breasts in and rub the tops with a little more butter. Pour the can of corn and the can of black beans around the chicken, and then sprinkle the spices over everything. Spoon a bit of corn and bean mixture atop each chicken breast and then pour the two cans of Rotel around and over everything.
Bake for 30 minutes, then sprinkle cheese over everything and return to the oven and return to the oven for just a few minutes, to melt.
Now, here is your chance to chop something, if you must. If you so desire, garnish with a little chopped green onion and cilantro.
I serve this over a bed of Spanish rice with a side of chips and salsa. Mexi-festy! I think it takes four minutes to put together, and then you can sit on the couch and count the age spots that are developing on the back of your hands while you wait for it to bake.
My husband, Mr. Meat and Potatoes, asked for this to be a regular feature, which says a lot about the dish, seeing as it had nothing to do with beef, pork or baked potatoes.