February 2, 2013

Santa Fe Chicken Bake

Happy February!

You look cold. You look like you could become warmer with maybe a hot soup close to your face, or a cozy blanket wrapped around you, or, a pretty awesome hot and easy casserole dish.  Okay, well, I don't know you too well to make the assumption that you're currently cold.   You may live in Hawaii for all I know. But I am chilly. It's a pretty cold day here in NJ, and I would choose the casserole..but that's just me.

I do apologize for the quality of these photos...my camera was acting up last night. It was a fussy child who needed a nap and I had about enough. So I snapped a few 'decent photos', and then ate some and forgot about the jerk.

I made this last night and I was glad I did.   I haven't made this simple recipe in months and it was probably the best version of it yet. Or maybe that's because, again, I have not had it in months! It's such a great dish for a few reasons.  It's easy. You literally throw a few ingredients in a casserole dish, stir them around, and bake it in the oven for 35 minutes.  It's also a Campbell's soup recipe. I love these kind of recipes from Campbell's; and 9 times out of 10, they are so great!  This is such a yummy chicken bake as well. It's also a bit more healthy as I doctor it up and change a few things with these recipes.  I tend to do that a lot.  I also love the 'retro' aspect of Campbell's soup recipes. It's so comforting. Campbell's has been around for a looooong time. Just think of all the amazing mothers and grandmother's out there who used these small cans of soup to create some really delicious and fantastic dishes for their family and friends! I love that!

Here is the recipe from Campbells'  and the things I changed up are in bold.

Santa Fe Chicken Bake

-4 breasts of chicken (sometimes if they are too large, cut them in half.  I just happened to luck out with the sizes this time around).
-1 can Campbell's Cream of Chicken Soup
-2 cups instant white rice (I use minute brown rice)
-2 cups water
-1 can black beans (I use Mexicorn, which has a bit of red and green pepper already in it...I love black beans, but the hubby does not...can't he pick them out?!)  I do love the idea of corn in this though...
-1 can taco bell medium salsa (Do not use taco bell salsa. Just don't. Ick. I think Pace, Medium is perfect with this)
-Fresh Cilantro
-I add 1 small diced onion to this
-Shredded Mexican Cheese Blend 

Mix the rice, black beans or corn,  and onion together in a 13x9 pan.

Then add in the water, soup and cilantro; stir well.

Doesn't look pretty...but she will.

Place chicken in the dish, then top with salsa. You want to use the whole jar, trust me. It's just better!

Bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes so that the chicken is thoroughly cooked and is bubbling a bit.

Once finished baking, sprinkle with all the cheese your little heart desires!  Bake for 10 more minutes until melted and bubbly!

Dig in!

There were leftovers...some.

And then I just had to have this later on.....ugh.  Mind you...the Reese's Pieces are STILL not opened!

That popcorn was awesome!  I hardly eat popcorn so it was the best salty and buttery treat at that moment!  I cannot lie.

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