Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Bell Peppers

Salt & Pepper
Olive oil
5 skinless chicken thighs
1/2 cup cooked Quinoa
1/2 lb. Mushroom buttons
5 Scallions
1 1/2 Roma tomatoes
2 Bell Peppers (any color)
1 small bunch of fresh Baby Spinach
1 tsp. Cumin
1/2 tsp. dry Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp. ground Chili Powder
8 slices Colby Jack deli cheese
1 10oz. can green Enchilada Sauce
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (reserve 1 tbsp. for garnish)

Preheat oven to 425F degrees. 

Pour 1 tbsp. Olive oil into an 8" skillet or medium size oven proof pan.

Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken thighs

Place chicken thighs into a skillet (I used my 8" skillet)

Cook the Quinoa at this time if you haven't already,  according to package directions.  Set aside covered when done.

Dice the mushrooms, set aside.

Dice the scallions,  Reserve 1 tbsp. for garnish.  Set aside the rest.

Dice the tomatoes, set aside.

Cut the stem off the bell peppers.

Cut the bell peppers in half, from the stem to the bottom.  Remove seeds and veins. Set aside.

Chop the Baby Spinach, set aside.

Stack the cheese slices

Dice the cheese in small squares, set aside.

By the time I prepped all the vegetables, the chicken was browned and ready to be removed from the oven.

Remove chicken from skillet and place in another container to cool.  Reserve the chicken juices in the skillet.

In the reserved chicken juices, saute the mushrooms, scallions and tomatoes for about 7 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.  Add the Cumin, Garlic and Chili powders.  Stir until most of the juices have evaporated.

While the vegetables are sauteing, take the chicken and remove from the bone with two forks if it's still hot.

Once the chicken has been removed from the bone, chop into small pieces, set aside.

Turn the heat to low, add the chopped chicken to the skillet and stir in, simmer for 1 minute.

Add the chopped Baby Spinach,

Add the cooked Quinoa,

Add the diced Colby Jack cheese.  Stir in just until it starts to melt and remove skillet from heat.  Remove meat mixture from skillet with a rubber spatula and place temporarily in another container (I used my 4 cup Pyrex glass measuring cup).

With the same rubber spatula, stuff the Bell Peppers with the meat mixture.  Stuff as much as you can get in there.

Drizzle skillet with some Olive Oil.  Place Bell Peppers into the same skillet.

Sprinkle on the Parmesan Cheese.  Pour Green Enchilada Sauce over the Bell Peppers.  Place in preheated oven and bake for 1 hour, uncovered.

Garnish with chopped Scallions and Parmesan Cheese.

This half of my piece.  The other half was already in my BELLY!

So delicious and ready to dig in!!

I bought the Bell Peppers because I was in the mood for Stuffed Bell Peppers, just wasn't sure how I was going to make them.  There's nothing wrong with the original recipe, with tomato sauce, ground meat and rice.  BUT, I'm staying away from pastas and rice as much as I can and that's when I googled "chicken stuffed bell peppers".  After looking at several recipes, this is what I came up with, mainly because that's what I had.  I absolutely love the aroma of Bell Peppers cooking, it just smells so wonderful to me.

I'm not crazy about ground chicken or turkey.  Cooking and chopping my own chicken meat was the way to go, just makes it tastier and flavorful in my opinion.  The Quinoa took the place of rice (shhhh! don't tell my meat and potatoes man).  I never dreamed of stuffing and giving a Bell Pepper a TexMex flavor.  Who would of thought?

Have a great week and savor every minute!

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