Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Green Chicken and Beerita Slushies

Hi guys!  Can you believe that summer is almost over?  I know that lots of kiddos went back to school today….mine go back next week.  Addy will be in 2nd grade and Peeps is finally starting preschool.  Addy is dreading 2nd grade because she says it is going to be “hard”.  I told her that she is in for some trouble later on in life if she thinks 2nd grade is hard.  She already told me that I have to drop her off on the first day….I’m not allowed to walk her in because I am “embarrassing”.  I can’t believe she doesn’t see how cool I am.  I’m with it!  I like Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber.  How much cooler could I be?
Paisley doesn’t really care one way or another.  Her only concern is who is going to pull up her pants after she goes potty.  I picture her cruisin’ around with her pants around her ankles because she didn’t know who to ask.  Perfect.
Back to food related news…..today I am actually sharing two recipes that aren’t mine.  I know!  Crazy!  But I had these two things at my friend’s house, and I knew I had to share.  The first recipe I will share with you is “green chicken”.  It isn’t green because the little chicken drives a Prius and recycles.  It is green because it cooks (in the slow cooker) in a green, or “Verde”, sauce.  Yep, I am still stickin’ with the Mexican theme……
My second recipe is actually from my friend’s mom.  She is from North Carolina, and she and her friends like to sit on the NC beaches in the summer and cool off with what I like to call “Beerita Slushies”.  This is the perfect summer recipe because it is refreshing and easy!  I know summer is almost over, but you still have a couple of weeks to squeeze this in.
Let’s start with the green chicken.
There is an easy way and a not as easy way to make this chicken.  I will show you the “not as easy” way.  But trust me….it is still pretty darn easy.  You can make the sauce the night before, and in the morning…you throw the sauce and the chicken in the slow cooker.  When you come home in the evening, you have dinner.  Super easy for weeknight meals.
Ok, so for the sauce, I used tomatillos, poblano peppers, jalapeno peppers, an onion, garlic, salt & pepper and olive oil.
Tomatillos look like a green tomato, but they are not.  They are actually related to a gooseberry, not tomatoes.  They are slightly tart, and I don’t think you would want to eat one raw by itself.  They come in a paper husk, like this….
Once you peel the husk off, you have to rinse the tomatillo off because it will have a sticky substance on it.  These are easy to find in any grocery store…..just look for the papery husk.
Poblano peppers are also easy to find in any grocery store.  They tend to be mild, but every once in a while you will come across one that will knock your socks off.  I used 2 poblanos, but you could always use just one.
With both kinds of peppers, the poblanos and jalapeños, I made sure to remove all the seeds and ribs.  That is where the heat lives.  You can adjust for your tastes…..
I started by chopping the tomatillos and roasting them for about 15 minutes.  I drizzled them with olive oil and sprinkled with salt & pepper.  This helps mellow the tart flavor.
I did the same thing with the onion, peppers (both kinds) and garlic.
Once all the veggies were roasted, I threw them in the food processor with some fresh cilantro, lime juice, agave nectar and chicken stock.  I pureed the mixture until it was almost smooth.  This essentially makes a green enchilada sauce.  And that right there is the “easy way” to make this.  You can totally substitute a big ‘ol can of green enchilada sauce and skip all of this.  But then you never get to experience the odd sticky substance that covers tomatillos……
FYI-I used agave nectar, but you can use sugar.  Agave nectar is widely available in grocery stores.  It is a sweet syrup that is actually sweeter than sugar.  I use it because the syrup blends better than sugar.
Now is the point to get the chicken in the slow cooker.  I used a mix of breasts and thighs.  I feel that chicken on a bone does better in the slow cooker, but you can use what you want.  My grocery store didn’t have any breasts on the bone, so I used boneless breasts.  You win some, you lose some;)
I poured about ½ of the sauce over the chicken and set the slow cooker to the fastest setting. Normally I would use the lowest and longest setting, but I didn’t start this till noon.  
I think the best thing about using your slow cooker is the way your house smells when you come home….like you have been slaving away all day.
I shredded the chicken and then topped it with a bit of the reserved sauce.  At this point, you can use this chicken for just about anything…..burritos, tacos, nachos, etc. It is super versatile…. I chose soft tacos.  And I served the rest of the reserved sauce on the side.
This chicken is slightly spicy and really “fresh” tasting.  The green sauce is tart and delicious.  I love the way the chicken stays moist (god, I hate that word).  It is a welcome change from chicken that is normally cooked in a red sauce for Mexican food.  Thanks for the recipe, Travis!
This recipe makes a ton, so it is perfect for a party.  Since it cooks in the slow cooker, it is a perfect party recipe….it cooks itself!
Onto the Beerita Slushies….the best part of this post;)
When Nancy (my friend’s mom) made this for me, I was instantly in love…and slightly buzzed.  In my opinion, there is no better summer cocktail.
I used a can of frozen limeade concentrate, tequila and 3 light beers.  Light in color….it doesn’t matter if they are light in calories.
I poured the ingredients into a large flat plastic dish that has a lid.  This will sit in the freezer, at least overnight.  It will never freeze all the way through, as it is mostly booze.  Instead, it will get slushy and delicious.  I scraped it with a fork occasionally, just to keep it loose and slushy.
When you are ready to serve it, scrape off the amount you need with a fork and pile it in a cold glass.  Keep what is left in the freezer….it melts fast.
Ohhhhh, I could drink this anytime…not just summer.  Thanks for this recipe, Nancy!  Now I have a new favorite cocktail!
Alright, enough for today….Thanks for reading!  I appreciate it!!  And I especially appreciate all the feedback, so keep the comments comin’!
“Green” Chicken
2 to 2 ½ pounds chicken
1 ½ pounds tomatillos, cleaned and chopped
2 poblano peppers, seeds and ribs removed and chopped
1 to 2 jalapeno peppers, seeds and ribs removed and chopped
1 small onion, or ½ a large, chopped
5 garlic cloves
1 ½ teaspoons salt, divided
1 teaspoon pepper, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup cilantro leaves, tightly packed
2 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons agave nectar
1 ½ cups chicken stock
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.
Place tomatillos, peppers, onion and garlic on cooking sheets.  Drizzle with olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.  Roast at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.
Place roasted veggies, remaining salt and pepper, and remaining ingredients (except for chicken) in food processor or blender.  Puree until smooth.
Place chicken in slow cooker.  Pour ½ of the sauce over the top.  Cook on lowest setting.
When chicken is done, remove from pot and let cool.  Discard cooking liquid.  Shred chicken and mix with ½ of the reserved sauce.  Serve chicken with remaining sauce on the side.

Beerita Slushies
1 12 oz. can of frozen limeade concentrate
12 oz. tequila
3 beers, light in color
Combine all ingredients in large, flat bowl with lid.  Freeze at least 12 hours.  Mixture will remain slushy.
When the chicken was done, I pulled out the pieces to cool a bit.  If you cook the chicken all day, it will be falling off the bone when you take it out.  Mine cooked a bit faster, so it stayed together.

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