For the past few month’s I’ve been partnering with NM Dept. of Agriculture on a campaign to promote local New Mexico products. I try to come up with creative recipes using these products in ways that may seem “outside the box”. This week I tried a soup mix from Cibolo Junction and a dressing mix from Jillipepper. With the weather turning warmer soup isn’t ideal so I used the mix to make Braised Chicken and Rice. The ingredients list is light on the details but it includes different types of chiles, cilantro and lime with rice. It sounds Southwest but Joe and I both agreed that it had a lot of Cajun flavors going on. A possibility might be because I used less liquid and the flavors were enhanced. It was quite tasty and Joe (who loves Cajun dishes) really enjoyed it. This was paired with a simple salad on the side with Jillipepper’s Dress It mix. This dressing mix was one of the best things I’ve tried yet. I used it as a marinade for chicken, a dressing for pasta salad and had a little bit left over for our salads here. The one thing I’ve found is that using good local products helps our economy and can make our meals a bit easier to prepare. Of course I will always enjoy the meals made from scratch but it’s been fun trying out new things and tasting all the local products. Some products come from our local restaurants while others are entrepreneurships that have started out of one’s garden or kitchen. I’ve found some real gems that I would buy over and over again. Even if you don’t live in NM, maybe this will inspire you to try local products from your state that give you new and innovative ideas to incorporate them into your meals.
There is 1 cup of soup mix included that would make approximately 4 servings. I only used half of the mix and added chicken which made 2 large servings.
I have a small 1 1/2 quart dutch oven that I like to use for small dishes, but you could also use a cast iron skillet with a lid. Heat it over medium high heat with a drizzle of olive oil.
Once the skillet was hot I added 3 small boneless chicken thighs that have a sprinkle of my favorite seasoning. Drizzle the top of the chicken with olive oil and let the chicken sear for several minutes until it easily pries away from the skillet.
Turn the chicken pieces over to sear the other side. This takes about 4 – 5 minutes on each side. Once seared nice and brown, remove from skillet.
Pour half the mix (1/2 cup) into the skillet. In the mix is rice with dehydrated chiles, dehydrated veggies and spices.
Add 1 1/2 cups of water to the mix and turned up the heat to medium high.
Bring the soup mix to a boil then add the chicken back to the skillet.
One of the reasons I like my small dutch oven is that it is perfect for just the two of us. Turn down the heat, cover the dutch oven or skillet with a lid and let simmer for 25 – 30 minutes.
After 25 minutes the chicken and rice is fully cooked.
Time to make the Jillipepper dressing. It’s a tiny little mix that includes dehydrated Hot Fiesta Peppers, Sugar, Sea Salt and Black Pepper. Very simple ingredients yet this makes a flavorful dressing and/or marinade.
This dressing is made with orange juice, white wine vinegar and olive oil.
Start by adding 4 teaspoons of white wine vinegar.
Now add 2 tablespoons of orange juice. I squeezed juice from little mandarin oranges.
Time to add the packet of Jillipepper Dress It mix.
Lastly, whisk in 1/3 cup of olive oil until it is completely emulsified.
And there you have it!
Assemble your plate with seasoned rice, add a piece of chicken with a side salad topped with Jillipepper Dress It mix.
Here is the pasta salad that I made previously. I used pre-cooked noodles that I would NOT recommend. I felt cheated when I tasted that rubbery/pasty tasting pasta. I wasted some of my tasty dressing because neither Joe or I could eat it. Any type of pasta that you cook yourself should be fine.
To order: Cibolo Junction Three Chile Soup
To order: JilliPepper Dress It Red
Braised Chicken and Rice
1/2 cup Cibolo Junction Three Chile Soup mix with rice
1 1/2 cups Water
2 – 3 small Chicken Thighs, boneless
Burrito Seasoning, recipe follows
Heat a small dutch oven or 8 inch cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil. Sprinkle chicken thighs with burrito seasoning and add to hot skillet. Drizzle top of chicken and sear on both sides about 4 -5 minutes on each side. Remove from skillet. In same skillet or dutch oven add soup mix and water. Stir the pot and bring to a boil. Add the chicken back to the pot, place a lid on top and turn the heat down low and simmer for 25 – 30 minutes. Serve chicken and rice with a side salad . Makes 2 – 3 servings.
Jillipepper Salad Dressing
1 Packet Jillipepper Dress It mix
4 teaspoons White Wine Vinegar
2 tablespoons Orange Juice
1/3 cup Olive Oil
Combine white wine vinegar, orange juice and dressing mix together. Whisk in olive oil until dressing is completely emulsified. Serve with salad, pasta salad, or use to marinate chicken or steak.
1 teaspoon Ancho Chile, ground
1 teaspoon Guajillo Chile, ground
1 teaspoon Green Chile Salt (1 part sea salt ground, 1 part Green Chile Powder)
1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Coriander
1/4 teaspoon Chile de Arbol, ground
Combine all ground chile and spices together. Mix well. Any unused spices can be placed in a zip lock bag to use for future recipes.