Southwestern Stuffed Chicken with Mexican Rice Fakeout
*read all directions first, unless you're a guy...
Two of the most beautiful words in the grocery store language are "manager's special". When I see that boneless, skinless chicken cutlets half-price, day of or we'll throw it out manager special, you better believe I grab it! It's like Chicken Marsala made easy. But let's just say your Marsala "evaporatored" since the last time you used it, and you got no 'shrooms, now what? Confusion cuisine!
Let's face it, those tenders, breasts, cutlets, whatever, are pretty skinny. Real easy to pound paper thin and roll up like a tortilla. So what to put in it? That's easy. Let's journey back to my vegetarian days. Way before Rachael Ray I found a great 30 min. meal in an issue of Vegetarian Times for black bean burritos. They're quick, cheap, and easy; real easy! All you'll need is a tomato, half an onion, a couple of cloves of garlic, a can of black beans and some chili powder. Dice the onion and tomato the way you would cut a blooming onion (so you get a fine dice)and chop up the garlic. Sauté the onion for a couple of minutes, medium-high heat, open your beans( any basic, on sale 15 ounce can), add the garlic then dump in your beans and tomatoes. Add a couple of teaspoons of chili powder and let this mess cook down. Now let's get fancy.
You'll need a jar of medium salsa. No matter what salsa you pick your always wrong so go with medium. Kind of like Goldilocks and the porridge except none of them are just right...hot's too hot for most people, medium's too hot for some people and mild, uh, that's called ketchup. You'll also need to cook half a cup of rice, make or get some shredder cheese and pound out those chicken breasts; holy crap, this is turning into work! I recommend putting your chicken breast between two pieces of plastic wrap before pounding. In the old days we used waxed paper but that was 20th century analog cooking. The plastic wrap keeps the salmonella/splatter factor down considerably.You see where this is going?
Okay, let your black bean mess thicken and cool down some.Cook your rice and lay out your chicken breasts. Put a very generous tablespoon or two of bean mess near the end of each breast. Top with some shredder cheese and roll them up. Seam side up, seam side down, it doesn't seem to matter. Now grease a casserole dish and put a little salsa in the bottom. Lay the roll ups in the dish and top with salsa and some more cheese. Put your oven at about 350(preheated of course), cover your dish with foil and give it a good 25 min. Your rice should be at least 5 min. or 10 min.done by now, so at this point check your chicken. Give the chicken another good 5 or 10 min. in the oven with the foil off.*Remember, stick a fork or a meat thermometer or your finger in the chicken to make sure it's done! When it's just about done go back to that sauté pan toss in some rice and salsa. Heat the rice and salsa through and serve with the chicken roll ups. It looks classy, sort of, and people might even thing you can cook, except for that fussy, assed bitch, Goldilocks!