Southwest Chicken Sloppylada Casserole

I had to work late yesterday and was too tired to go to the grocery store, so last night I got to star in my very own episode of Chopped.  I was presented with my basket of goodies – two grilled chicken breasts, two green bell peppers, a pot of black beans I had cooked the night before, and a box of Jiffy cornbread mix.  My challenge – make something for dinner. 

Time starts now!

My obvious go-to meal would have been fajitas except that I didn’t have any tortillas.  I would have scrapped the chicken for another night and made sloppy-joes but I didn’t have any hamburger or buns.  I remembered making a sloppy-joe casserole once with the meat on the bottom and a cornbread crust and decided to pursue something like that only with chicken on the bottom.  So I started my dish by sautéing one diced medium onion and two diced green bell peppers.  Once they got a little soft, I diced up the cooked chicken and added it to the skillet.

The next thing was to come up with some kind of sauce.  Since I had that pot of black beans, I decided to go with some southwest seasonings.  So I added about a tablespoon of chili powder and about one teaspoon of cumin.  I also added about a fourth of a teaspoon of dried oregano at the last minute.  Then I remembered I had a jar of adobo sauce in the fridge so I added about a teaspoon of that too (adobo is some seriously spicy stuff and little goes a long way).  Why I had something as random as adobo sauce in the refrigerator and no hamburger or tortillas is beyond me.  It’s the story of my life really.  Anyway, after I stirred all those ingredients around,  I added about a half of a cup of water to loosen the sauce.  Then I gave it a taste then added a little bit of salt and pepper.   It was tasty and looked decent so I was feeling like a rock star.

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I poured all of this into a small casserole dish and then added a layer of monterey jack cheese (about a cup or so).

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Then I mixed the cornbread according to package directions and spread that over the top of everything.  I baked it at 350 degrees until the top was lightly browned, about 20 minutes or so.  So far so good – looks promising.

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The results?  I’d give it about a 3 out of 5 for appearance, but for flavor I’d say it’s a solid 4.25!  The chicken filling was nicely spiced with the added bonus of melted cheese throughout.  Plus the cornbread crust was a surprisingly tasty component.

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But what will the judges say?

***holding my breath***

It was an enthusiastic two thumbs up! 

And I am off the chopping block!

Whew!

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About Minding My Nest

wife, mom, not-so-empty nester.
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