My husband has some pretty definitive ideas about what makes a meal. I often say he eats like a hobbit…lunch, elevensies, dinner, second-dinner and so on.
Well, not really, but when he does eat a meal, he wants a full, substantial meal, or he will be rummaging in the kitchen shortly thereafter. I don’t know why that annoys me, but it sure does…blame the OCD, I guess.
As a working girl, a mom and a sane person, I sometimes just don’t have it in me to dirty up every dang dish in my kitchen on a weeknight meal. That’s when my fall-back one-pot meals come in handy. This recipe is just one of those…it’s technically soup and a one-pot meal, but trust me, it’s hearty enough that even my hobbit considers it a full-on meal, and not just an appetizer to his later pantry-scavenging.
Chicken Fajita Chowder
- 3 T. all-purpose flour
- 1 envelope fajita seasoning, divided
- 3 or 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
- 4 T. olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 15-1/4 oz. can Fiesta Corn
- 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 14-1/2 oz. can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes, undrained
- 4-1/2 oz. can chopped green chiles
- 3 c. chicken broth
- 1 c. instant brown rice, uncooked
- 10-3/4 oz. nacho cheese soup
Garnish: sour cream, shredded cheese, crushed tortilla chips, green onions
1) Combine flour and 2 tablespoons of the fajita seasoning in a large zip-loc bag:
2) Add cubed chicken, seal bag and shake to coat:
3) Heat oil in a large pot over med-high heat. Add chicken and cook about 5 minutes, stirring often, until the outside of the chicken turns golden brown. At this point, you will have all kinds of good browned bits of chicken and seasoning sticking to the bottom of your pan. Don’t panic! We’ll fix that in a second:
4) Toss in the onion and garlic, and sauté 4 to 5 minutes, or until onions appear to soften:
5) Add the chicken broth to the pot. Turn the heat up to high if necessary, and start scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon or spatula to loosen all those yummy browned bits. If you are fancy-schmancy, we’ll call this deglazing. Once you’ve scraped as best you can, turn the heat back down to med-high, and it should look like this:
6) Add the remaining fajita seasoning, fiesta corn, black beans, green chiles, stewed tomatoes and brown rice. I try to cut the stewed tomatoes with the kitchen shears before adding them to the pot, because too-large tomato pieces would scare the heathens away:
7) Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to med-low, cover and simmer 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, get your toppings set up. My husband is morally opposed to green onions, so we only had some shredded pepper jack, crushed tortilla chips and sour cream:
8) Once the soup is done, it will look like this:
9) Dish it up, top chowder as desired:
And bask in the fact that your kitchen has not been demolished in a dirty-pan siege. Besides, the troops are much more inclined to do the dishes when there are less dishes to do.