Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Give me a Break.

I know I have mentioned the concept of “Sammy Days” in my previous, non-food related blog. Basically, “Sammy Days” is a term that refers to the self-appointed days off my brother and I would take during high school. This is not to be confused with sick days or planned days off for a special trip or vacation. These were literally days that I was basically too tired or lazy to go to school, and they were never decided upon in advance. I know this all sounds bad, but I like to think that my “Sammy Days” provided the right amount of freedom and self-responsibility I needed to respond positively to the high school experience. My brother and I have both become very self-motivated adults; I feel that this fact can be attributed, at least partially, to our common use of the “Sammy Day” or our shared tendencies to realize when enough is enough when dealing with teachers, books, and dirty looks.

Everybody needs a break at some point. Good things can come out of being given the opportunity to relax and/or be lazy like this slow cooker recipe. It is almost too easy. This will by far be the greatest return on your cooking time/effort investment you have ever seen. This meal is so complete and tasty, it cannot be easier and it is nearly impossible to mess it up. Try this recipe when you need a break, but you do not want dinner to reflect that in any way.

Sammy Day Mexican Chicken:

(adapted from Recipe Zaar)

4 frozen, boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 15oz can golden corn
1 15oz can black beans
1 15oz jar salsa (however spicy you like it)
1/3 C hominy (optional)- this adds a little more of a grainy flavor as if you like that sort of thing.
4 oz reduced fat cream cheese (the original recipe calls for 8 oz of regular cream cheese, but I think a half-package is plenty, and I cannot tell the difference between the reduced fat and the regular, but adjust as you will)

Just throw the chicken, corn, black beans, salsa, and hominy (optional)into a slow cooker.

Cook on a high setting for 4-5 hours or on a low setting for 6-8 hours.
For the last 1/2 hour, place the cream cheese (in chunks) on top of the mixture.

Mix it all together. The chicken should just fall apart as you mix. I try not to mix it too quickly so that the chicken stays in slightly thicker shreds. You can serve over white or brown rice in a bowl, over tortilla chips for some intense nachos, or you can stuff it in a tortilla for a nice fat burrito. For a burrito, feel free to add rice, tomato, lettuce, or anything else...not that you really need anything more than just the chicken mixture; it definitely stands alone.

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