This is it: the last post of 2015. I wanted to get one last post up before I sign off for a week, while my family and I have some much needed relaxation time!
With the kids being home for winter break and getting ready for holiday travel, things have been quite hectic here. When the kids are home, I don’t have as much time to luxuriate while cooking so I need quick meals I can pull together in a flash. My 20 minute southwest chicken skillet is PERFECT for days like these, where everything comes together in one pan with a ton of veggies and very little clean up.
I love making this 20 minute southwest chicken skillet almost as much as much as my family loves eating it. So much so that it’s now a part of our regular rotation. In fact, my sister-in-law loved it so much that she started making it too. It all started when I really couldn’t stand cooking, or doing anything that didn’t have sleeping involved, while pregnant with my youngest. With the threat of dinner looming overhead and chicken breasts in the fridge, I knew I had to work fast.
Fun fact: I perform extremely well under pressure. I think it’s the procrastinator in me. There is a thrill of racing against the clock to see if you actually make it.
I pulled out my cast iron skillet, one of the most useful gifts anyone has ever given me (thank you, dear mother-in-law!). I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love my cast iron skillet. It heats up beautifully and sears meat to perfection. I also use it to make another favorite, guiltless eggroll in a bowl. I mean, I’m sitting here thinking about the countless steaks I’ve cooked in this bad boy, and I have this big, goofy grin on my face. Yes, that is how much I adore my cast iron skillet. I heated olive oil, tossed in some vegetables and listened to the melodic hiss of the vegetables as they danced around the pan, their sugars caramelizing.
Toss in the chicken and I have the symphony right here! As they sizzle and hiss to perfection, I heat up some tortillas and sometimes, if I’m feeling especially ambitious, I put together a pot of cilantro lime rice.
Normally I plan ahead and try to limit using canned foods in my cooking but some things are unavoidable, like tomatoes. I mean really, who has the time (or patience) to stand there, scoring a tomato, flash cooking it, and plunging it into an ice water bath and then peeling it? Not me. So tomatoes are my exception for things like my 30 minute marinara sauce. I will occasionally use canned beans, if I’m racing the clock and didn’t think far ahead. In those times of desperation, I toss in a can of black beans. On this particular day, I had leftover black beans in the fridge so I used those.
Back to the accompaniments. I’m more of a use-what’s-in-the-fridge type of girl so this time, I ended up using sour cream because that’s what was in the fridge. Other times, when avocados are in season, I serve the skillet with a healthy serving of avocado. Other times, it’s pico de gallo and other times still it’s even more cheese on top.
Who can say no to cheese?! Uh, not me! My absolute FAVORITE part about the 20-minute southwest chicken skillet is that it tastes even better the next day!
And with that, my friends, I bid you adieu and a happy new year with more to come in the next year!
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
- 2 cups frozen corn
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with green chilies
- 1 15.5 oz can black beans
- 1 cup shredded mexican blend cheese
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro, plus 1 tbsp for garnish
- 1 tbsp olive or vegetable oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp chili powder
- Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan on medium high heat. Add onions and saute until translucent. Add peppers and cook until peppers begin to soften. Sprinkle in salt and cumin.
- Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds, until garlic becomes fragrant. Add chicken and chili powder. Cook until chicken is cooked and juices run clear. Add tomatoes, corn, and black beans. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, covered.
- Stir in ½ the cheese and cilantro and let cheese melt. Top with remaining cheese and green onions. Cover for 2 minutes until cheese is melted. Garnish with remaining cilantro.
- Serve with warm tortillas and/or rice, chopped avocados, pico de gallo, sour cream etc.