Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Of Bonnets and Fire Breathing Kids

Scotch Bonnet - it seems like something you'd put on a doll or a baby even.  Oh, it's sunny out - might want to protect your head and put a Scotch Bonnet on.  It might even be a plaid or a tartan of some sort.  Oh what a cute lass, in her Scotch Bonnet.
No.  Not.  Scotch Bonnets are peppers from hell itself.  (Mom - it's true - I know that's strong language.)  I suppose I should tell you why I speak so strongly about these little demon peppers.
chicken Fajita Pasta - the recipe sounded great.  A dish to make on a Sunday afternoon, left overs to carry us through the week - great!  Oh, salsa, I need a cup of that.  Well, I have two partials in the fridge of homemade salsa, I'll just combine them and that'll work.  Why take the walk down the stairs to get a new bottle?  Oh, one is Andy's mouth torching salsa?  It's not that much, it should be fine. 
It was not fine.  When your daughter holds her tongue with tears in her eyes saying "it's too spicy mommy" - you know you are in trouble.  This recipe would have been great with normal mild boring salsa.  Next time?  That's how it's being made.  Boring.  Not with Andy's crazy hot salsa that we had to buy special peppers for because the ones we grew were sallies and had zero heat.  Not sure Bronwyn and I will ever be the same after the Chicken Fajita Pasta incident of 2015... we just might not.

Chicken Fajita Pasta

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 envelope (3 tablespoons) taco or fajita seasoning
2 cups diced bell peppers (2-3 bell peppers)
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
½ cup heavy cream (or milk)
1 (10-oz) can Ro-Tel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chiles
8 oz (about 3 cups) penne pasta
½ teaspoon salt

1.Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Season with half of taco seasoning. In a 12-inch skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over high heat. When the oil is very hot, carefully add the chicken in a single layer and cook without stirring until one side is seared and browned, about 1-2 minutes. Flip the chicken to the other side and cook until browned. Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside.
2.Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet with the heat still on high. When the oil is very hot again, add the onions, bell peppers, and remaining taco seasoning. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are slightly blackened. Turn heat to low, add minced garlic, and stir until fragrant and well combined, about 30 seconds. Remove the veggies to the plate with the chicken.

3.In the same skillet, add the broth, cream, diced tomatoes, uncooked pasta, and salt. Stir to combine and bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for 15 minutes until pasta is tender and liquid is mostly absorbed. Add the chicken and veggies back into the skillet and stir to combine until heated through, about 2 minutes. Serve with buttery garlic bread and enjoy!

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