Winter Salsa Chicken

I recently discovered cooking using a crock pot.  Sure, I’ve slow cooked on and in the oven but a crock pot is definitely a little different.  A couple of weekends ago, I had approximately 2 Kilograms (4 Pounds) of chicken thighs and no idea what to do with them but I did have a craving for salsa and chips.  Maybe it’s because the only fresh greens I had in the fridge was a huge pack of leftover fresh parsley I had scored for $0.99 at my local grocery or maybe it was the unseasonably warm weather and that hubby was power washing the deck while we hoped to drink margaritas later that day but I began rummaging through the pantry for ingredients “What goes in a salsa?” I yelled out to my husband.  “I dunno” he answered “tomatoes, hot peppers, onions…”

I call this recipe Winter Salsa Chicken because I made it in March, when most fridges and pantries are lacking in fresh produce.  Hubby and kids loved it and we had plenty for leftovers!

WINTER SALSA CHICKEN – serves 8

  • 2kg/4lbs (aprox) of boneless chicken thighs
  • 1-2 onions, chopped
  • 4 to 6 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 cans of diced Italian tomatoes
  • 2 to 3 tlbsp of concentrated lime juice
  • 2 to 3 tblsp of dried Corriander
  • Red pepper chili flakes, as per your tolerance for spicy
  • Sea salt and crushed pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley or cilantro
  • 5-7 slices of pickled hot banana peppers, chopped
  • Olive oil

In a pan with the onions and a little oil, brown the chicken thighs 3 to 4 min per side.  Transfer to the crock pot and pour in diced tomatoes, lime juice, garlic, red chili pepper flakes, coriander, salt and pepper, pickled hot peppers and loads of chopped fresh parsley/cilantro.  I know that most recipes will suggest delicate herbs like parsley or cilantro be used at the end of cooking process -as a finishing touch or garnish.  But because I had so much of it, and because it was my only truly fresh ingredient I decided to put it in at the very beginning, even chopping up and using the stalks, thinking it might help infuse the dish with as much “green” taste as possible, which is what I think about when I think ‘salsa’.  Drizzle a little olive oil over top before setting the Crock Pot on high and serve with rice, pasta or tortillas after approximately 7 hours.