Friday, August 3, 2012

Garden Fresh Salsa and Salsa Chicken Dinner

Good morning, lovely friends!  It is shaping up to be a beautiful (hot!) day here in Michigan and I am extra cheerful because I am looking forward to beginning my vacation!  Sorry for all the exclamations but this working momma has not had a real vacation since before my youngest was born.  The last time I had more than 2 days off was when my hubby got in a quad accident when Little Man was 8 months old and I was stuck at home for a week playing nurse and chief bandage changer to a badly injured man who is not an easy patient with a 7-month-old and almost 6-year-old to keep busy too!  Before that was maternity leave and I had 8 weeks off only because I was too anemic to return to work at 6 weeks and I had zero energy - not exactly a vacation.
I only had enough for one jar so this went
straight to the fridge for eating - otherwise
you would want your liquid to cover your
veggies and leave a bit more head space
in the top of the jar.
Don't get me wrong, this will not be your sit-on-the-beach-with-a-margarita-and-do-nothing vacation.  This will be a get-all-the-stuff-done-I-don't-have-time-for-when-I'm-working-and-commuting-10+hours-a-day vacation.  But I will feel SO much better getting things off the checklist and I do have some fun things planned like field trips with the kids and a camping/softball weekend at the cabin.  Part of what I want to do while I am off is take advantage of the fresh local produce and get some canning and freezing done.  I will be getting discounted sweet corn from our local orchard and Little Man and I hope to pick blueberries - I'll be canning and freezing both.

Once of my favorite things to do with all the "extra" produce I can find backroading and in my own garden is make fresh salsa.  You can make a salsa out of virtually anything and with the right spices it is tasty.  This salsa was made with 2 large fresh tomatoes, 2 big carrots, 1 large onion, 1 large green pepper, 2 pressed garlic cloves, a few random spicy peppers from my garden, fresh chives, cilantro, parsley, and thyme from my garden, garlic salt, pepper, cumin, and a splash of vinegar.  Add your spices to your own taste - I made this about a mild-toward-medium heat so it wasn't too spicy for the kids to enjoy.

The downside is that fresh salsa tends to be very very juicy and I hate the thought of all that spicy goodness just disappearing down the drain so I use it to make awesomely tender and flavorful salsa chicken!  This was what was left after I filled my one large canning jar and stashed it in the fridge.

I took a value-size package of boneless-skinless chicken breast and lightly browned both sides over medium-high heat in a large skillet with extra-virgin olive oil until the outside was golden.  When it reached a nice color, I dumped all this juicy veggie freshness on top (liquid included), covered the skillet and turned the heat down slightly to medium.  I let it continue to cook covered for about 15 minutes or until the chicken was cooked through.

(A note about that - I am super-paranoid about eating uncooked chicken so I always cut open a couple of the largest breast in the thickest part to make sure they are cooked through well.  Doesn't always look the prettiest but we've never gotten food poisoning.)

Serve with the salsa still on top.  This makes really juicy chicken.  Shred any leftover chicken and use the next night with cheese, tortillas and more salsa for quick fajitas or quesadillas.


momto8 said...

oh yum!!! looks and sounds delicious..thank you!!

Queen Mom Jen said...

Yum! I love the fresh items we are able to can during the summer. Stopping in from the Feed Me Friday Hop.

Michelle Day said...

Yum! I love all the fresh produce available in the summer. This looks delish! Thanks for sharing :)