I had to work late yesterday and was too tired to go to the grocery store, so last night I got to star in my very own episode of Chopped. I was presented with my basket of goodies – two grilled chicken breasts, two green bell peppers, a pot of black beans I had cooked the night before, and a box of Jiffy cornbread mix. My challenge – make something for dinner.
Time starts now!
My obvious go-to meal would have been fajitas except that I didn’t have any tortillas. I would have scrapped the chicken for another night and made sloppy-joes but I didn’t have any hamburger or buns. I remembered making a sloppy-joe casserole once with the meat on the bottom and a cornbread crust and decided to pursue something like that only with chicken on the bottom. So I started my dish by sautéing one diced medium onion and two diced green bell peppers. Once they got a little soft, I diced up the cooked chicken and added it to the skillet.
The next thing was to come up with some kind of sauce. Since I had that pot of black beans, I decided to go with some southwest seasonings. So I added about a tablespoon of chili powder and about one teaspoon of cumin. I also added about a fourth of a teaspoon of dried oregano at the last minute. Then I remembered I had a jar of adobo sauce in the fridge so I added about a teaspoon of that too (adobo is some seriously spicy stuff and little goes a long way). Why I had something as random as adobo sauce in the refrigerator and no hamburger or tortillas is beyond me. It’s the story of my life really. Anyway, after I stirred all those ingredients around, I added about a half of a cup of water to loosen the sauce. Then I gave it a taste then added a little bit of salt and pepper. It was tasty and looked decent so I was feeling like a rock star.
I poured all of this into a small casserole dish and then added a layer of monterey jack cheese (about a cup or so).
Then I mixed the cornbread according to package directions and spread that over the top of everything. I baked it at 350 degrees until the top was lightly browned, about 20 minutes or so. So far so good – looks promising.
The results? I’d give it about a 3 out of 5 for appearance, but for flavor I’d say it’s a solid 4.25! The chicken filling was nicely spiced with the added bonus of melted cheese throughout. Plus the cornbread crust was a surprisingly tasty component.
But what will the judges say?
***holding my breath***
It was an enthusiastic two thumbs up!
And I am off the chopping block!