Tonight for dinner I made Sassy Salsa Chicken in the crockpot with Rice. Very Casual Friday evening dinner. Since we are empty nesters.....I didn't feel obligated to fix an additional vegetable because I wanted dessert too. I don't have to be a good example any more since the kids moved out. Bahahaha!
Recipe for the Sassy Salsa Crockpot Chicken:
- 4 decent sized pieces of chicken (I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts)
- 2 cups chunky salsa (whatever brand you prefer - I used Pace because it was on sale and is gluten free
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon Taco Seasoning powder (I used McCormick brand because it is gluten free & on sale but check your labels because many brands use Wheat flour as an ingredient)
Place all the ingredients in a crockpot and cook for 6-8 hours until chicken is tender and cooked through. If you are in a hurry, you can cook it in a casserole dish with foil or lid in the oven for about 70 minutes at 350 degrees. I personally prefer using the crockpot as much as possible.
For the Salsa Rice:
- 2 cups of instant rice (I used Uncle Ben's because I already had it)
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup chunky salsa (I used Pace because it was on sale)
- 1/2 cup frozen corn (I used Trader Joe brand that was fire roasted) but you can certainly use canned corn and just drain it or just leave it out completely. I like to use corn because it adds more flavor and a beautiful yellow color to the rice.
Bring the water & rice to a full rolling boil. Stir in salsa & corn. Remove from heat and let stand covered for 7-8 minutes until water is absorbed. (If you don't have instant rice on hand, you can use the long cooking type - it will work fine also but will just take a little longer to cook).
I scooped out some rice, then some chicken with the salsa smothered on it. It just looked naked... so I decided to sprinkle on a little shredded Mexican blend cheese onto the salsa covered chicken & just zap in the microwave for 40 seconds until cheese melted. I know....cheese isn't necessary but it is Friday and well....the extra calories just don't count on Fridays! :)
And since calories don't count on Friday.....What the heck: We need some dessert! I was really in the mood for some chocolate brownies but so far I wasn't impressed with any boxed gluten free brownies out there and a couple of the gluten free homemade recipes I had were just plain nasty. I want a REAL brownie. I refuse to sacrifice flavor and texture so I am just going to re-formulate my "normal" recipe with gluten free flour and see how it turns out!) And the verdict: WINNER! Yes, I really like these brownies & they passed my husband's taste test! Okay, now for a special name for my special brownies.....I will name them something....(GEEK ALERT!)
Darth Vader's Dark Side Brownies (gluten free):
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Trader Joe brand)
- 3/4 cup of gluten free flour blend (see below): if you don't have a gluten allergy, then by all means use regular flour! It is less expensive and easier to find.
- 6 tbs. real butter (I used unsalted)
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract or baking emulsion
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. chipotle chile pepper powder, optional (I like to add this sometimes when we do Mexican food night because I LOVE the slight tingle on the tongue from the smokey spicy flavor mixed with the rich sweet chocolate. You can find it in the spice isle of most grocery stores. But if you prefer not to use it, just leave it out. These brownies are awesome without the seasoning too!
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Melt the chocolate chips & butter together in a glass bowl in the microwave (or use double boiler) until melted. I stirred after 30 second intervals in the microwave. Cool for 5 minutes before adding the rest of the ingredients. Stir in the sugars and vanilla & chipotle (if you are using it). Gradually stir in eggs, one at a time. Add flour and salt. Stir about 40 times by hand. (If you are feeling like extra chocolate, add additional 1/2 cup chocolate chips for chunky chocolate brownies). I lined a 9x9 pan with parchment paper (next time I would use 8x8 pan for slightly thicker brownies) and poured batter on top. Bake 20-25 minutes. When toothpick inserted comes out with moist crumbs, time to remove them. Cool for about 20 minutes before cutting them.
Gluten free flour blend:
- 1/2 cup brown rice flour
- 1/8 cup rice flour
- 1/8 cup tapioca starch or corn starch
- 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
This blogging thing is all new to me so I am open for suggestions & comments or questions. If you haven't figured it out yet....I am somewhat of a geek. I love Star Wars, Star Trek, etc and you will see some of the Geek stuff at some point in this blog.
Gluten Free Casually