bcmom's kitchen

bcmom's kitchen

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Spicy Avocado Chicken

My friend Ricki shared this recipe on Facebook about 5 years ago.  I tried it once before and really liked it, and then didn't make it again until tonight.  Why did I wait so long?  This stuff is so good!  It's like that other famous recipe I got from Ricki - Spicy Slaw.  Absolutely yummy!

Spicy Avocado Chicken
adapted from Ricki's recipe

  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 large ripe avocados
  • 1 to 1-1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup medium/hot Salsa (Pace Picante or equivalent favorite)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp. seasoned salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • Salt (to taste)
  1.  Thoroughly mash the avocados into a paste, chop all vegetables, cut chicken into strips, cubes, or desired size, and measure out salsa.
  2.  Put water and butter into a large skillet and set on Medium heat.  When butter starts to melt, add the vegetables, chicken, avocado, salsa and seasonings to the skillet, and cover.
  3. Stir after 5 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and sauce is thick, 25 to 30 minutes. Add more water, if needed, for desired sauce consistency.
  4. Add salt to taste, and serve.
Serves 4

Ricki's recipe called for chopped mushrooms and onion powder, but I didn't have any mushrooms, and my onion powder is hard as a rock.  So I just used more onion than in his recipe and added some chopped garlic.  I did not add any additional salt at the end because it did not need it, and we ate it with tortilla chips which have salt of their own.

Ingredients added to the skillet
Even though the word 'Spicy' is in the name of this recipe, it really isn't spicy - just flavorful.  My husband doesn't like hot foods, but he really like this.

add the mashed avocados and seasonings

Thanks for sharing, Ricki!  This is a really easy and flavorful recipe, and I really must make it more often.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Best Sourdough Bread

I usually make my Whole Grain Sourdough.  But pasta still calls for a white sourdough.  My old recipe was OK - I tweaked the sourdough bread recipe from one of my cookbooks to come up with a bread we liked.  Mainly I think I just didn't use packaged yeast, because why would I want to use packaged yeast in my sourdough bread?  That kind of defeats the purpose, doesn't it?  And I let it raise longer, to develop the sourdough flavor.

Well, this time I tweaked it a bit more, and I think it turned out perfect

The Best Sourdough Bread

The night before you want bread:
  • bring starter to room temperature
  • measure 1 cup starter
  • in large bowl, mix starter with 1 cup lukewarm water, then stir in 1-1/2 cups unbleached flour.
  • mix well, cover, and let sit overnight
The next morning:
  • your mixture should be all bubbly
  • mix in: 1/2 t. salt and 2 T olive oil
  • add 2 to 2-1/2 cups unbleached flour, mixing in as much as you can with a spoon and then kneading the rest in
  • knead on a floured surface until you have a smooth, elastic dough
  • put into greased bowl, cover and set in warm place to rise
When dough has doubled in size
  • Punch down and turn out onto floured surface
  • Cover and let dough rest for 10 minutes, then shape dough into a ball
  • Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more cornmeal; cover with the other end of the towel, or another towel.
  • Let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.
  • About a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450°. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 5 to 10 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

The flavor is so good, and the texture is perfect.  The crust is that perfect chewy crust I have been trying to achieve since the beginning of my sourdough adventure. What did I do differently?  I omitted the sugar, and I baked it in a covered pan, the same way I bake the Whole Grain Sourdough.  Can it really be that simple?  Maybe. It certainly turned out well this time.  I will definitely be making this bread again.

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