Happy 2012, everybody! I hope your New Year’s was great, wherever you celebrated it. Mine was very low-key, but really nice. My man and I stayed here in NJ and went out for an awesome steak dinner before heading home to watch Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper on CNN to ring in the New Year. Have you seen those two on camera together? It was a hysterical sight, for sure- Kathy ended up taking her clothes off at one point and continued making questionably appropriate jokes, while Anderson just kept on giggling nervously, which is reason #402 why I love him.
Anyway, I wanted to start off 2012 right yesterday, ya know? Something to shake off those wintry shackles of late 2011 and begin this year from a warm, cozy, and light point of view. I know it’s still winter here, but there’s something so symbolic about starting the New Year- even if it is just an arbitrary day. It’s like we’ve rolled over a big hill, and here we are, starting to roll down onto a new path, and who knows where it’s going to take us? Exciting, if you ask me.
For Christmas this year, I got a Crock-Pot- I know, how did I go so long without one of my own?! So I knew I wanted to make something using that for yesterday’s kickoff day to 2012. Plus, yesterday was a football day…. don’t slow cookers and football have some kind of sacred bond in the hearts of all American families? Unfortunately, that sacred bond did not bring a W to my hometown team, the Jets… but at least we ate well.
I actually got this recipe from one of those Crock-Pot sponsored recipe booklets you find at the grocery store by the register- for some reason I picked it up years ago and never used it. I made a few adaptations from the original, for example using chicken breasts in place of thighs, and browning the meat before placing it in the crockpot. It came out to be surprisingly flavorful, with a nice kick from the jalapenos and a subtle warmth from the cumin. Best of all, this baby is low fat (depending on how much cheese you add )
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- salt & pepper
- 1 can chopped green chilies, drained
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 15-oz cans diced tomatoes, including juice
- ½ to 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
- 1 lime
- 4 corn tortillas, sliced into ¼-inch strips
- ½ cup Monterey jack cheese, shredded
- 1 avocado, diced and tossed with lime juice to prevent browning
- Heat up a pan over medium-high heat. Pat your chicken breasts dry with a paper towel, then season both sides of each breast with salt and pepper. Once the pan is nice and hot, add oil. Carefully place the chicken into the pan, and let sit for 5 minutes before flipping to the other side. The goal here is NOT to cook the chicken through, but you want to see a nice brown crust forming on the outside chicken to add flavor when it’s slow cooking. Let sit for another 4-5 minutes on the other side, then remove from pan and place chicken in slow cooker.
- In a separate bowl, combine chilies, garlic, onion, tomatoes, ½ c chicken broth and cumin. Stir well and pour over chicken.
- Cook on low for 4 hours. Remove the chicken from the slow cooker to a cutting board and using two forks, shred the chicken into bite-size pieces. Return to the slow cooker. Adjust seasoning and add additional chicken broth if it’s not soup like enough.
- Just before serving, add tortillas and cilantro to slow cooker. Stir to incorporate.
- Serve in soup bowls, topping each with shredded cheese, diced avocado and a squeeze of lime.
I could not find any ripe avocados at my store yesterday so I didn’t add that as a topping, however the lime juice and cilantro really makes a nice addition. I would definitely make this again!