We're having friends over for dinner tonight. Nothing fancy- I'm not a fancy person. Just fun with new friends and their kids.
I'm already done with dinner and it's only 10am. Plus it will be something the whole family will eat AND bonus...it's healthy! Seriously! It truly is something that won't knock you off the "eat healthy" bandwagon.
So to recap- this dinner can be made in advance. It's something everyone will like. It is healthy. What's not to love??
Here we go...
But first, the unhealthy part of our dinner.
It's gotten unseasonably cold here in the south as of late. Wintry cold.
So I'm pulling out an appetizer that is a cold weather favorite: Death In A Pan. You'll love this, too. But it isn't healthy. Just reading the name should cause your arteries to start to clog. But it is sooooooooo good.
You'll thank me for this one too.
First, Death in a Pan. (A note: I decided to post these recipes on the fly. I may not have all the ingredients in the pictures since I'd already started to cook the food when I grabbed my camera. Forgive me. And you will after you have these recipes. Promise.)
You'll need: Bacon, Lil' Smokies (any brand will do), dark brown sugar, toothpicks, a big baking dish, and tin foil.
Preheat the oven to 350.
Start by cutting the bacon into thirds and wrapping each Lil Smokie in a third piece of bacon. Place seam side down in baking dish. Do this with all the Lil Smokies.
Cover with a generous layer of dark brown sugar.
Now you can cover with tin foil and put in the fridge till you're ready to cook it (which is what I'm doing today) or you can pop it in the oven now!
Leave it covered, put in the oven and cook for 90 minutes.
Remove the tin foil for the last few minutes of baking.
Take from the oven...oh my. My house smells sooooo good!
Don't eat them right away- they're hot!
But when you do eat them, you'll love me. Little protein goodness wrapped in a sugar blanket. Life is so good.
Next comes the main course. Again, this is healthy. And it's really good the next day.
This is my version of Chicken Chili. I first had this when I got a The Barefoot Contessa: Parties cookbook. Hers is yummy, but takes a long time since she roasts the chicken, chops the garlic and chops the onion.
I'm busy. I tend to use the pre-chopped onions found in the freezer section and the minced garlic in the jars. (Don't hate me...it cuts down on my prep time and the taste is pretty much the same.)
For a good size pot of chili, you'll need the following:
1/2 bag of frozen chopped onion (or 3-4 onions chopped), olive oil for the bottom of the pan, 1 each yellow, red and orange peppers- or just yellow and red- no green peppers, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, kosher salt, 2 28 oz cans diced tomatoes, 6 chicken breasts.
It's a lot, but it assembles quickly.
I poach the chicken by putting it in a pot, covering the chicken with water and boiling for 20-30 minutes.
You can also grill or roast it in the oven. When you've finished cooking your chicken, cut it into big chunks. Set aside.
Meanwhile, cover the bottom of a big pot with olive oil and put in the onion. Over med-low heat cook onion till translucent.
While that is cooking, chop the peppers into big pieces. You'll need them in a minute.
Add a good large soup spoonful of garlic to the onions. Cook for a minute.
Add the tomatoes (I added 2 large cans and one small can. If you want it more soupy, add more tomatoes) and scant palm fulls of chili powder, cumin, and kosher salt (1-2 tsp). Add 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes as well. I used just a bit of these as I don't care for super spicy food. Add more if you like.
Bring it all to a boil, then simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes.
Add the chicken.
Cook for another 20 minutes or until heated through.
At this point you can serve it with cheese, sour cream and chips OR put it in the fridge and reheat the next day.
Wow...this picture looks a little pitiful. My photography/food staging isn't what it needs to be. I'm working on that. But truly, it is super good...think enchilada without the tortilla.
This is truly a "dump" recipe if ever there was one. Feel free to add black beans, other spices or do the recipe in a crock pot. My neighbor does this in the crock pot, doubles the recipe and has it when she has company over for football games.
I hope you enjoy!