>Spicy Chicken with a hint of sweet

>The original came in a cookbook I got for Christmas: Taste of Home’s Fast Fixes with Mixes. It’s aimed at using basic mixes in the pantry to create decent meals. I struggled with this at first; I’ve been moving toward cooking more from scratch, more whole ingredients and fewer pre-processed foods. But on further review, this quick-start philosophy can work for us. Here’s one, with the changes from my own experience.

Sweet and Spicy Chicken (adapted from Fast Fixes with Mixes)

1 pound boneless chicken breasts, cut in one inch cubes
1 package taco seasoning
1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chunky salsa
1/2 cup orange marmalade
hot cooked rice

Place chicken in a zipper plastic bag with taco seasoning and toss to coat. In a skillet, heat oil and brown chicken. Combine salsa and marmalade; stir into skillet. Bring to a boil; cover and simmer for 2-3 minutes or until meat juices run clear.

Serve over rice. Serves 4.

Now, the backstory.

The original recipe calls for peach preserves: I couldn’t find these in my regular grocery or in the neighborhood corner market. I settled for orange marmalade; it provided the fruity sweetness and the right consistency.
The original also called for an entire 11 oz. jar of salsa. Holy tomato, Batman, that’s a lot of salsa! I couldn’t believe the dish needed that much salsa, so I cut it approximately in half.

I wrecked the rice. Believe it or not, I wrecked the rice. I overcooked the long grain white rice into mush while trying to fully cook the wild rice. Oops. I’ve successfully combined long grain brown rice with wild rice, but I forgot that white cooks faster. Much faster. The taste was okay, but the texture? Well, we won’t discuss texture. (I salvaged the rice by making fried rice later in the week; it worked well with Tex-Mex scrambled eggs)

Meanwhile, remember the case of oranges in the basement (choir fundraiser, December)? I’m eating at least one a day, but there are still too many left. The marmalade hasn’t thickened, but I’ve decided not to remake it. It’ll make a good cooking sauce, and we usually buy it for that purpose rather than to spread on toast. Fresh orange juice for a few days might help use up the oranges. Chuck got creative with grapefruit tonight: mixed it with marascino cherries for a fruit salad style side dish.

This is not a sponsored post. The cookbook was a Christmas gift. Thanks, MIL!

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