This is a dish that is simply irresistible, and that is loaded with carbs (the good ones–complex carbs) and protein. It is low-fat not no-fat, and has a high level of satiety in spite of its low-fat recipe. This should safely feed four reasonably hungrified adults. I do not include any ‘starches’ in this meal, as this is not how we cook and feed at eatyourselfslimblog.com. Oh, nay nay! We get our carb fixes like good little kittens who found their mittens, so we can have PIE later 😛 Oh yes, my friends. We too can have pie…As you will see!
[Translation of the name: Chicken for the broken-hearted. Why do I call it this, you ask? Hey, let’s not get personal! This is a food blog, not a romance novel for Pete’s sake. And who the heck is Pete anyway? Let’s move on.]
This recipe is made with pico de gallo, a fresh salsa which I prepare ahead using:
- 4 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 3 green onions, sliced thin
- 1 medium shallot, diced fine
- 1 jalapeño, seeded* and diced
- 1/2 poblano pepper, seeded and diced (optional)
- 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped
- Juice of 2 limes
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
- Suracha sauce (optional, for heat)
Set aside some limes to garnish the completed dish and to add acid, if necessary, after cooking. Chicken does not have a lot of flavor on its own, so can tolerate–and often requires– a lot of seasoning and heaps of elements like acid, heat, sweetness and crunch, so always remember to TASTE, SEASON, TASTEat all stages of preparation and cooking.
NOTE: You may substitute white or yellow or red onion, leave out the green onion and use one of those mentioned instead, change up the peppers, or build this however you prefer. This is how I do it, and I find it muy delicioso, naturally. This part of the caloric equation is all vegetable, therefore not worth measuring. Lots of taste, practically zero calories. That’s how we roll up in la casa, ora le, ese! ^5 <–digital high five, for the uninitiated.
Mix all ingredients together and let them marry either at room temperature or in the fridge. Be sure to taste for proper seasoning (and go easy with the salt, there peoples), especially heat. If you want more heat, add some Suracho. Less? Well, too late now! (That’s what we call an educational moment.) If I’m going to use it in a recipe, as this one, I do not refrigerate, as that just gives the oven more work to do. If I’m going to use it as a salsa, then definitely refrigerate. PS: Watch out for touching your sensitive eyeball type area after handling peppers like jalapenos. ¡Lave las manos, and be thorough or usted será lo siento!
*If you prefer more heat, by all means, leave in the seeds. I take mine out, but this is your call 🙂
Now for the pollo part of the chicken for the broken-hearted.
What you will need:
- About 1 to 1 and 1/2 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- Low fat buttermilk (optional)
- 1 can (small) of low or no sodium black beans
- 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella or queso fresco cheese
- 1 Tbs of oil (I prefer grape seed or canola for this recipe)
- A large baking pan, glass or metal, 8 X 13 in size
- Non-fat cooking spray (such as Pam ®)
Before making your pico de gallo, rinse your chick chick thighs under cold water and IF YOU DESIIRE, place into a large bowl. Cover with buttermilk, cover and place in refrigerator to marinade. Two hours is a good time frame, longer will not hurt. Skipping this step also will not hurt–especially if you use chicken thighs. If you substitute breasts (and you surely may), I suggest brining or marinading in buttermilk to help them retain moisture when cooked. Do I have to tell you be sure to follow proper handling instructions after messing around with chicken, etc.? (I thought not. But there’s a link for that further along, just in case.)
When you are ready to create your fabuloso Pollo Para el Corazón Roto, remove your chicken from the fridge and shake off the excess buttermilk, rinse, pat dry and set aside. (If you skpped the buttermilk soak, I don’t hold it against you.) Heat the oil over medium in a large frying pan. When the oil shimmers, it is ready to cook with. You do not need to wait for it to smoke–often by the time oil reaches the smoking point it is too hot, at least for browning. Place each piece of chicken into the pan and cook until just browned on each side (about two or three minutes per side).
Once all the chicken is browned, give your baking pan a spray with the non-fat cooking spray to keep the chicken from sticking. Place the chicken in the pan, and cover with the black beans then the pico de gallo. Do not use all of the liquid from the beans–about 1/2 can worth is plenty for this recipe. and place uncovered in a 350° oven for 20 minutes. Remove and cover with the mozzarella cheese,. Cook for approximately 25 minutes more. The cheese will be melted and bubbling. The internal temperature of the chicken should be 160°. And don’t tell me you don’t have a meat/poultry thermometer! We take our internal temperature issues very seriously here at eatyourselfslimblog.com!
Better safe than poisoned by your own cooking. If you don’t have a thermometer, for Pete’s sake GET ONE! [How did that Pete guy get in here again?]
Remove when done and let ‘rest’ for at least 10 minutes.
Garnish with lime wedges, and serve with non-fat sour cream on the side, sliced avocado, whatever vegetation you prefer. Even, if you like, a salad of your choice. Just watch those dressings. And to those of you saying, “I want chips and salsa!!” (oh yes, I hear you out there, I know your cravings), I say, GET A GRIP. Once you snarf up this dish, I promise you won’t want chips and salsa. Just try it, that’s all I ask 🙂