Sarah’s Pico de Gallo Chicken

I love to create, whether it be cooking or something crafty. I like to take various materials/ingredients and see what I can come up with. Sometimes I like to think I’m on Iron Chef and I can only use certain “mystery ingredients” or whatever.

It keeps me entertained.

This small pleasure of mine has been quite useful lately with my lack of grocery shopping… which has lead to a very limited supply of food items for my dinner. One night I made a version of huevos rancheros, which turned out super yummy… but then I was out of eggs and tomatoes so I decided it was time for a trip to the store.

That night I made what I shall call “Sarah’s Pico de Gallo Chicken” because I was “inspired” by pico de gallo salsa, and I always have chicken in the freezer.

First I got out 4 frozen chicken breasts, drizzled them with olive oil and sprinkled on some tajin seasoning. Tajin is a seasoning we discovered on our Baja trip and it is basically a dried salsa and has a distinct lime flavor to it. So good. Our kayak guides would put it on fruits and veggies, too. I love the stuff… not sure what I will do when I run out! (Another trip to Mexico, maybe?)

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I don’t really know if the olive oil is necessary, but the seasoning doesn’t stick well to the frozen meat without the oil. I also added a bit of dried oregano to the chicken. I covered the tray with foil and put it in the 375 degree oven for 35-40 minutes.

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I picked up some avocados, tomatoes (these are vine-ripened ones), fresh cilantro, a couple of small vidalia onions, and a couple of small zucchinis. I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do with them all… but I put my Iron Chef hat on and got to cooking!

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I knew I wanted to make a tomato-based picadillo themed sauce for the chicken, so I took the seeds out of the tomatoes, chopped/blended them up a bit in my blender thing and threw them in a pot. Then I added some of the onion, chopped, with a touch of tajin.

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There wasn’t enough tomato in my onion-tomato sauce, so I added a couple of frozen cubes of tomato sauce. {Being a single lady and all, I rarely have use for an entire can of tomato sauce and usually only use a few tablespoons at a time. I got the great idea to freeze the rest of the can in my ice tray so I wouldn’t waste it and the cubes are perfect portions for single-meal cooking. I got the idea after reading another blog about putting fresh herbs with a bit of water in the ice trays… I don’t remember where exactly. Possibly Pioneer Woman.}

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The onions were still a bit overpowering in their chunkiness, so I took about half of the mixture back into my blender thing and pureed it a bunch before adding it back into the pot.

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Then some chopped cilantro…

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… and then I added more.

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By the time I finished the sauce {and trying to get a decent picture of my avocado and tomatoes} the chicken was finished cooking.

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I topped each of the chicken breasts with some of the sauce…

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… added some sliced zucchini sprinkled with tajin {I told you I liked the stuff!} and put it back in the oven for long enough for the zucchini to steam a bit.

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Meanwhile, I heated up some re-fried beans, slathered them onto a corn tostada shell, and piled on a bit of avocado chunks and cilantro.

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My cobalt blue plates make such a nice backdrop.

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And the chicken was perfectly juicy, too! {I don’t know if you can really appreciate the juicy-factor from the pictures… you’ll have to trust me on this one.}

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It was soooooooooo good. That may seem like an unnecessary amount of o’s, but trust me… this deserves a long “so.”

In summary:

4 chicken breasts, seasoned

Bake covered for 35-40 minutes at 375 degrees F, less time if thawed.

For the sauce:

2 vine-ripened tomatoes, without seeds

1 small vidalia onion, or 1/4 to 1/2 of a larger onion

4 T chopped cilantro , or to taste

4 T tomato sauce

Salt, to taste

In a food processor, roughly chop the tomato. Put in medium sauce pan over low-medium heat. Add in chopped onion and tomato sauce. Cook until onion is tender. Puree about half of the tomato and onion mixture in the food processor, then return it to the sauce pan. Add in the cilantro and salt.

Once chicken is finished cooking, put a quarter of the sauce on each chicken breast. Return the chicken to the oven for another 5-10 minutes.

Eat, and enjoy!

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One response to “Sarah’s Pico de Gallo Chicken

  1. i”m going to have to make this – but since I don’t have any tajin I will have to improvise! :-)

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