March 15, 2009

Monterey Pepper Jack Chicken

I have been looking forward to making this recipe all week! It is from my new cookbook, Foods and Flavors of San Antonio by Gloria Chadwick. The cookbook has an array of authentic, San Antonio family favorites that capture the flavor and essence of Tex-Mex cuisine. Many of the recipes are easy enough to tackle on a busy weeknight, and most of the ingredients are items that you would already have in your pantry (or could get on a fast trip to almost any grocery store). The book is completely geared toward the home cook, and is full of accessible and yummy-sounding recipes. Each dish features a little bit of the regional sites, tastes, and history of San Antonio. It is almost like going on a little weekend getaway!
Tex-Mex cuisine is one of my favorites, so I knew that this cookbook would be right up my alley. I actually had a really hard time deciding which recipe I would make first, since I have at least a dozen recipes marked with post-its to try out. I ended up narrowing it down to this dish, since I have all the ingredients in my stores. I think I will serve this meal with a side salad and call it good. I will let you know how it all turns out!

Monterey Pepper Jack Chicken
Copyright 2008 by Gloria Chadwick

2 large eggs
2 T water
1 cup cornmeal
2 T Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 cups salsa
1 cup shredded Monterey pepper jack cheese
3 cups cooked white rice, hot
1 (8 oz.) container sour cream, for topping

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly spray a 13x9" baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and water until frothy. On a dinner plate, combine the cornmeal, Parmesan cheese, cumin, chili powder and cayenne pepper. Dip the chicken breasts in the egg, then dredge in the cornmeal mixture, coating evenly. Shake off the excess. Place the chicken in the prepared baking dish and cook for 30 to 35 minutes or until the juices run clear when pierced with a sharp knife. Remove the chicken from the oven and pour the salsa over. Sprinkle with the cheese. Return to the oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese melts. Serve over rice with sour cream on the side. Serves 4.

Jen's Notes:
Gloria also has a blog by the same name; Foods and Flavors of San Antonio that I visit on a daily basis. You can purchase a copy of her cookbook through this link to the Pelican Publishing website. I heart this book, and I can't wait to make more recipes from it soon.

A big thank you to both Gloria Chadwick and Pelican Publishing for allowing me to post this recipe!!!

The Result:
Oh man! I think my photos speak for themselves!!! This dish was purely Tex-Mex; that is for sure! The chicken was filling and all the components of the dish melded together nicely. I garnished the chicken with a little chopped cilantro, and some avocado slices that were salted, and then soaked in a lemon-lime juice mixture. I loved the blend of the citrus-flavored avocado slices, with the spicy pepper jack cheese, creamy sour cream, and crunchy cornmeal coating on the chicken. The best part was that my 3 year old ate all of his chicken and rice without much guff. Hooray!

1 comment:

Gloria Chadwick said...

The Monterey Pepper Jack Chicken looks awesome. It's totally beautiful. You did my recipe proud! Thanks so much for the great review of my cookbook. I'm glad you heart my book. :)