Food blogger, Jo Wake, sent me a pico de gallo baked chicken recipe that she promised would be easy enough even for me. Add the extra benefit of it also being smothered in cheese, and this was a recipe I put on the top of my try-it menu.
1 lb boneless and skinless chicken breasts or thighs (I used a whole bag of frozen breasts)
2 tsp taco seasoning (I used the whole packet)
2 cups pico de gallo
1 cup Monterey jack cheese, shredded (I used mozzarella, because it's what I had)
Season the chicken with the seasoning, place in a large baking pan, (I allowed the seasoning to soak in and "marinate") top with pico de gallo (I left it as a garnish to please my picky eaters) , and cheese (I added the cheese after the chicken baked so it stayed gooey) and bake in a preheated 375F/190C oven until the chicken is cooked through, about 20-30 minutes (I did 45-60 minutes...some of my breasts were pretty thick.)
Now, for the recipe in real life, the Elizabeth Seckman variety of life where cutting corners and spending as little time in the kitchen is always the goal.
First things first. I needed a pico de gallo recipe. I didn't have any in the house and driving to the grocery store was more work than plucking tomatoes out of the garden. During my quest for a recipe, I found this interesting little tidbit...
Did you know pico de gallo translates to rooster beak? Some say it's for the color. Others because it's not a sauce so much as a garnish that can be eaten with your fingers, primarily the forefinger and the thumb, which resembles a rooster's beak.
The garnish was easy.
The online recipe 5 roma tomatoes, 1/2 cup onion, 1 jalepeno (seeded and chopped), 1/2 cup cilantro, salt to taste, cumin or sometimes lime juice
I didn't have roma tomatoes, so I used regular tomatoes from the garden, diced small. And chopped red onion. I also didn't have any jalepenos. I worried the garnish would be bland without the jalepeno, so to flavor it up, I added a quarter cup of the baked chicken juice and a bit of garlic salt.
Now, for the chicken.
Now, for the chicken.
This was super easy. Just like Jo promised. (I apologize for the bad pictures!)
I laid out the chicken breast in the pan and covered it with the taco seasoning.
Once the seasoning soaked in a bit. I covered and baked, like the recipe said.
To go along with the chicken. I made a package of seasoned rice. Also, super easy. Just mix with water, stick in the rice steamer, and dinner is almost finished!
The finished product...
Once the chicken was done. I sprinkled it with cheese, popped it back into the oven for a few minutes, then served after garnishing with the pico de gallo.
The picture doesn't do it justice...this was a quick, tasty meal. It got the highest thumb's up from my guys- a request for seconds!