Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Queso Fresco Chicken (aka "Popcorn Chicken")

Who doesn't love Chicken Smothered in Cheese?
Need I say more?

One of my favorite dishes at a Mexican restaurant is something generally called a "Rice Bowl" which is typically a protein (I choose Shrimp!) served over Mexican rice and covered in Queso. 
Then, I add in some of the salsa from our chips and dip...awesome.
Yeah, it IS that good.

So, when I seen a recipe for Queso Chicken, I definitely pinned that one.

I found this recipe over at Negle's Nest's blog. 
Queso Chicken is an easy recipe requiring very few ingredients. 
Negle's Nest's recipe is only for the chicken itself, so, I chose to serve Queso Chicken with Mexican Rice (see above favorite Mexican Dish) and mushrooms. YUM!

Okay, so, I also referred to Queso Fresco Chicken as "Popcorn Chicken."
For some strange reason, the husband noted that it "kind of tastes like popcorn."
After he mentioned that, I kind of agree.
I am not sure why, but this chicken had a buttery-corny taste like popcorn.
I dunno.
I've "googled" the different types of Queso cheese for a descirption of their taste to see if it's the cheese, I wondered if it was the cheese plus the browning of the chicken, but, honestly, I dunno. (I welcome any explanations to this unknown wonder).
But, I DO know, it was tasty! 
I mean come on, this dish has cheese AND chicken
'Nuff said. 
From this point onward, in our house, this dish is referred to as "Popcorn Chicken." :)

  • 1 1/2 lbs of chicken breasts
  • Half of a large yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 jalapeno, diced and seeded
  • 4-6 ounces of mushrooms, sliced
  • Chili Salt ------> 1/4 cup sea salt, 1/4 cup pure chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, pinch ground oregano. Mix together and store in an airtight container. (This makes 1/2 cup of chili salt.)
  • 8 ounces of Queso Cheese (I found this at Wal-mart near the butter, cream cheese, etc).
  • about 1/3 cup of milk (just enough to "loosen" up the cheese to make a sauce)

1) In a lightly greased large skillet or dutch oven, saute onion, jalapeno, and mushroom until onions are translucent. Remove veggies from the pan and set aside. 
2) Season chicken breasts with the chili salt. Cook chicken in the same large skillet until cooked through. Remove chicken from skillet. Set aside. 
3) Whisk together queso and milk in the skillet until smooth. Add chicken and veggies back into the cheese/skillet. 
4) Serve and Yum!

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