Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Chicken a la Orange aka Crockpot Orange Chicken

Originally this was to be a Wordless Wednesday posting, but after a recipe is asked for I must give! Here you go Amanda!

The original recipe picture was quite deceiving to my poor eyes and stomach. The picture in my cookbook displays the Orange Chicken I know and love -- breaded and fried goodness with a sweet orange sauce coating it. I had a feeling this recipe would turn out nothing like the picture...but alas I went forth!

You know what? I was right. This is what it turned out as (see delicious picture above, click to enjoy further details.) So alas, it wasn't the chicken I was dreaming of, but what it lacked in fatty deep fried breading it excelled in the yummy ORANGE flavor I was seeking. Saving you the extra fat and calories, I'd consider this the "healthier" orange chicken.

The original recipe calls for two cans of mandarin oranges, but I only used one. I found that the sauce really didn't thicken up on its own in the crock pot after 6 hours so I re-worked the recipe a bit, and this is what I came up with....

Chicken a la Orange

5-6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, trimmed of excess fat
1-2 tablespoons salt-free garlic and herb seasoning (such as Mrs. Dash)
(1) 11oz. can mandarin oranges in light syrup, drained
(1) 6oz. can frozen orange juice concentrate, pulp-free
1 tbsp. lemon juice
(1) 10oz. can fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
2 tbsp. cornstarch
2-3 cups cooked rice (your favorite, I used brown)

Place chicken breasts in sprayed slow cooker and sprinkle with garlic-herb seasoning.

Combine oranges, orange juice concentrate, lemon juice, broth, cornstarch & 1/3 cup water in bowl, mix well. Pour mixture into slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours.

When close to serving, spoon out some of the liquid and simmer in a saucepan on medium heat until thickened. To prevent your chicken from drowning in the remaining juice, scoop out chicken pieces and toss to coat in your thickened sauce.

Place cooked rice on serving platter and top with chicken and sauce. Add additional sauce as needed.

Serves 5 to 6.
(Points below for 6 servings)

Weight Watchers Points (per serving): 6

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Update & Monterey Bake!

So it's been about five months since my last post and my life has pretty much been an up and down roller coaster. I've said it before that I absolutely dislike cooking in another woman's kitchen so while being at my mother's for long periods of time I don't cook as often as I should. Or what I do cook it's nothing worth blogging about, I promise!

I've since joined Weight Watchers and I've been going since the middle of January and lost 10lbs. This is a pretty sweet accomplishment for me as I'm back to the size I was almost 2 years ago when I moved to Alaska. I think it's a great program and I like that I can plug in any recipe I want to try out and see how many points it's going to cost me. Not a bad deal, eh? That's about all I've been up to besides working my booty off (though really I'd like to keep that barely there area if you ask me) and trying to get healthier. I will try to add in the point value with every post too!

Mmmmm salsa, chicken, cheese, sour cream?! All my favorite things in a dish. I think I could go to Mexico and stay awhile as long as they feed me these staples. Some peppers and onions thrown in too and I'm a happy chica.

So this is my first recipe from my Crockpot cookbook. Oh, I'm sorry...SLOW COOKER as the title states. Whatever it is I was ready to take on anything in my ancient kitchen appliance and I knew I could trust her to do great things. My Crockpot is from probably the 1970's and is avocado green and the paint is peeling. She was found on a shelf at Goodwill after scouting the store on several occasions. She's trusty and does the job well! She doesn't BOIL the food on low like so many new cookers. She's perfect and until she retires, I'm keeping her!

I loved this dish. My only complaint is that the tortillas in the bottom got soggy and weird and the ones you're supposed to set aside didn't crisp up like a chip at the original 250 degrees as suggested. The book was pretty vague and didn't say the baked ones were SUPPOSED to be crispy, I just assumed? Ah well, everyone tweaks a recipe so here's my version!

Monterey Bake

6 (6 inch corn tortillas)
3 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 (10 ounce) package frozen whole kernel corn (or 1 1/4 cup)
1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans with liquid
1 (16 ounce) jar of your favorite salsa
1/4 cup fat-free sour cream or "lite"
1 tablespoon flour
3 tablespoons FRESH cilantro
salt and pepper, to taste
1 (8 ounce) package shredded Mexican Blend cheese (WW cheese or a reduced fat if following points, you won't need the whole bag)
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut tortillas into 6 wedges. Place tortillas on a sprayed baking sheet. Lightly brush each wedge with olive oil. Season to taste (salt, pepper, ground cumin, seasoned salt, etc.) Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden and crisp. Set aside.

Spray inside of slow cooker and place 18 of the baked wedges in the bottom of cooker. Layer chicken, corn and beans over tortillas in cooker. Combine salsa, sour cream, flour and cilantro in a bowl and pour over corn and beans. Cover and cook on LOW for 3-4 hours.

When ready to serve, place remaining tortillas wedges and cheese on top of each serving (1/3c. cheese per serving if following points). Add additional sour cream and salsa as desired (extra points).

TIP: When cooking the chicken ahead of time sprinkle a little of McCormick's Fajita Seasoning on the breasts. Place them on a broiling pan (slits help remove excess fat) and cover with foil. Bake at 350 for about 30-40 minutes or until done. If not completely done (barely pink) it's OK, the time in the slow cooker will finish the cooking process.

Serves 4-6
(Points counted for 6 servings.)

Weight Watchers Points (per serving): 10

*I am in no way affiliated with the website/company linked. I was not paid to use or advertise their product. I am not earning profit from sales either. These are items that are personally mine that I like to use and want to share with you.