Tag Archives: cilantro

Blackened Cod with Creamy Cilantro Dressing

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Looking for something to serve with your Creamy Cilantro Coleslaw? This blackened cod is perfect. And quick and easy on a warm summer night when you don’t want to heat up your kitchen.

If you are making the coleslaw as well, there will probably be enough extra dressing from that recipe to use for drizzling onto the cooked fish. Recipe for Creamy Cilantro Coleslaw:

Creamy Cilantro Coleslaw 1

I like to serve this meal with Cotija cheese. Cotija is a firm mild cheese with a texture similar to feta, but without the saltiness. It crumbles easily with your fingers.

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This recipe also makes great Fish Tacos.

RECIPE:

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Blackened Cod with Creamy Cilantro Dressing

4 cod fish fillets (you could also use halibut or snapper)
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp Ancho chili powder
1/8 tsp chipotle chili powder
2 Tbs oil

Creamy Cilantro Dressing (recipe below)
Cotija cheese, crumbled
1 can black beans, drained and mixed with 1 Tbs lime juice
Creamy Cilantro Coleslaw

Prepare Creamy Cilantro Dressing and refrigerate for one hour before serving.

Remove fish from refrigerator about 30 minutes before cooking. Mix dry spices in a small bowl. Pat fish fillets dry and rub spices onto both sides of fish fillets.

Heat oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Place fish fillets in the hot skillet and sear until cooked through (do not crowd pan; cook in 2 batches if necessary). Depending on the thickness and variety of fish, it should take about 3 minutes per side. Check for doneness with a fork: fish should flake easily, but not fall apart. Remove from pan and let fish rest for 2-3 minutes.

Drizzle fish with some of the Creamy Cilantro Dressing and top with crumbled cotija cheese. Serve fish with coleslaw, black beans, and additional cilantro dressing.

Creamy Cilantro Dressing

½ cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
¼ cup mayonnaise
3 green onions
1 fresh jalapeno
¼ cup fresh cilantro
2 Tbs diced mild green chilies (about ½ of a 4 oz can)
2 Tbs fresh squeezed lime juice
½ – 1 tsp Sriracha chili sauce (adjust to taste)
½ tsp kosher salt

Place all dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Refrigerate for one hour before serving

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Creamy Cilantro Coleslaw

Creamy Cilantro Coleslaw 1

A light and creamy summer salad perfect for serving with grilled or barbecued meats. Flavored with lime juice and fresh jalapenos, the dressing on this coleslaw is tangy and slightly spicy, not sweet like a traditional coleslaw.

And if you have some dressing left over, it is great as a sauce for grilled meat, or refrigerated and used later as a salad dressing.

RECIPE:

Creamy Cilantro Coleslaw 1

Creamy Cilantro Coleslaw

3-4 cups shredded cabbage
4 green onions, sliced
½ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

Dressing:
½ cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
¼ cup mayonnaise
3 green onions
1 fresh jalapeno
¼ cup fresh cilantro
2 Tbs diced mild green chilies (about ½ of a 4 oz can)
2 Tbs fresh squeezed lime juice
½ – 1 tsp Sriracha chili sauce (adjust to taste)
½ tsp kosher salt

Prepare dressing: Place all dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Place cabbage, green onions, and chopped cilantro in a large bowl. Add the dressing a little at a time, stirring until cabbage is coated, but not drowning in dressing.** Refrigerate coleslaw for about one hour before serving.

**Any extra dressing can be served as a sauce for grilled meat, or refrigerated and used later as a salad dressing.

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Blackened Fish Tacos with Cilantro Dressing

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I wish I could say that fish tacos are a favorite meal in our house. Unfortunately, I have a few fish-haters who refuse to like any kind of seafood. Even when, as in this case, the fish is extremely mild, “unfishy” and full of flavors they already enjoy. But I love them, so I continue to cook them for those of us who appreciate a change from your standard ground beef taco. The others eat the beans and cabbage drowned in the delicious cilantro dressing.

In the summer, I would add fresh homegrown tomatoes to these tacos. After growing my own tomatoes, however, I have a real aversion to grocery store tomatoes. They are always mushy or mealy, regardless of how red and beautiful they appear. So I will wait for summer to add them.

I like to use Cotija cheese in these tacos. Cotija is a firm mild cheese with a texture similar to feta, but without the saltiness. It crumbles easily with your fingers. Cabbage is also a must in fish tacos. The crunchiness of the cabbage makes a great contrast to the soft texture of the fish.

I serve these with a creamy cilantro dressing. It is full of cilantro, and just barely spicy. You can adjust the heat by varying the amount of jalapeno and Sriracha sauce in the dressing. I often make a double batch of the dressing and use it later as a salad dressing or raw vegetable dip.

RECIPE:

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Blackened Fish Tacos with Cilantro Dressing

4 firm white fish fillets (halibut, cod, snapper)
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp Ancho chili powder
1/8 tsp chipotle chili powder
2 Tbs oil

Corn or Flour tortillas
Shredded green cabbage (about 2 cups)
Tomatoes, diced
Cotija cheese, crumbled
1 can black beans, drained and mixed with 1 Tbs lime juice

Cilantro Dressing:
1/2 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 green onions
1 fresh jalapeno
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
2 Tbs diced mild green chilies (about 1/2 of a 4 oz can)
2 Tbs fresh squeezed lime juice
1/2 – 1 tsp Sriracha chili sauce (adjust to taste)
1/2 tsp kosher salt


Prepare cilantro dressing: Place all dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Refrigerate for about one hour. Use any leftover lime juice to mix with a can of drained and rinsed black beans.

Remove fish from refrigerator about 30 minutes before cooking. Mix dry spices in a small bowl. Pat fish fillets dry and rub spices onto both sides of fish fillets.

Heat oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Place fish fillets in the hot skillet and sear until cooked through (do not crowd pan; cook in 2 batches if necessary). Depending on the thickness and variety of fish, it should take about 3 minutes per side. Check for doneness with a fork: fish should flake easily, but not fall apart. Remove from pan and let fish rest for 2-3 minutes. Use a fork to separate fish into 2-3 pieces.

Serve fish strips in warm tortillas with shredded cabbage, tomatoes, Cotija cheese, black beans and cilantro dressing.


Makes 8-10 tacos

 

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Grilled Chicken with Mint Chutney and Indian Spiced Cauliflower

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Most of my garden is finished now: just a few lingering tomatoes and herbs. And mint. Lots and lots of mint. Mint is an indestructible herb; plant it once, and it will be with you for life. Like it or not. Thanks to this mint chutney recipe, I really like the mint in my garden.

There are actually both mint and cilantro in this chutney, but the mint is definitely the star player here. Chutneys are an Indian condiment that are usually a combination of both sweet and spicy elements, and often preserved with vinegar. This chutney does not have a strong sweet component, as it uses mint and cilantro as the base instead of fruit, but it does have a slightly sour tang from lemon juice. The heat comes from onion and hot peppers. I make it pretty spicy, but you can tone it down by using less hot pepper.

Mint chutney is a great accompaniment to grilled chicken, or more traditional Indian foods, like Samosa, tandoori chicken,  or Naan.

I used THIS RECIPE for the grilled chicken, which is called “Spicy Grilled Chicken”, but really isn’t all that spicy. It has a little bit of mint in the marinade, so it pairs really well with the chutney. The Roasted Indian Spiced Cauliflower was also great eaten with the mint chutney.

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RECIPES:

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Mint Cilantro Chutney

1 cup packed fresh mint leaves
1 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 of a small onion
1/2 – 1 fresh hot chili pepper (remove seeds if desired)
6 cloves garlic
1 tsp fresh ground ginger
3 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp ground cumin (or 1 tsp whole cumin seeds)

Using a blender, food processor, or mortar & pestle, blend all ingredients until finely chopped. Add water 1 Tbs at a time (usually about 2-3 Tbs total) until chutney is desired consistency.

Serve with Grilled Chicken or roasted vegetables, or more traditional Indian foods, like Samosa, tandoori chicken, or Naan.

Makes about 1 cup chutney

Roasted Indian Spiced Cauliflower
———————-(adapted from Sassy Radish)

1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces
3 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper (optional)

Preheat oven to 425°F.

In a Ziploc bag, mix spices with the olive oil and lemon juice. Add cauliflower to bag. Mix well and allow the dressing to coat cauliflower evenly. Spread the cauliflower in a roasting dish (line with foil for easy cleanup) and bake for 20-30 minutes.

While cauliflower is cooking, prepare mint chutney or yogurt dip, and chill until serving time.

When cauliflower is crisp-tender, remove it from the oven, and serve immediately with chutney or yogurt dip on the side.

Yogurt Dip

1 cup plain yogurt (for a thicker dip, use Greek yogurt or strain yogurt in cheesecloth lined colander)
1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill, or 1 tsp dried dill
1 Tbsp minced fresh mint (or use cilantro without the dill and mint)
½ tsp cumin (optional)
½ tsp salt

Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

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Baked Chicken Taquitos with Cilantro Ranch Dressing

041811 073-1Finger foods with dip are always popular around here. These chicken taquitos can be served with sour cream, salsa, guacamole, or our favorite is this creamy Cilantro Ranch Dressing. It is hard to say whether it is the chicken taquitos or the dip that is most popular. We use this dressing for all kinds of things: on taco salads or tostadas, for dipping quesadillas, as a regular salad dressing, over grilled chicken. Some little people around here have even been known to eat a vegetable or two if I serve this dip along side. It is also great as a dip for raw vegetables. The recipe below makes a dressing that is pourable, like a creamy salad dressing. If you want a thicker dip, substitute sour cream for half of the mayo, and use a little less buttermilk.

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I prefer to use flour tortillas for these, but you can also use corn tortillas. If you are using corn tortillas, place 2-3 tortillas between damp paper towels and microwave for 20-30 seconds to soften them before filling with chicken mixture. Corn tortillas tend to crack easily, so only work with a few at a time. Flour tortillas can be rolled easily at room temperature. Try to use the small fajita-sized tortillas; it is easier to get a tighter roll.

Brush the filled and tightly rolled tortillas with a small amount of olive or vegetable oil and then sprinkle lightly with a coarse salt (like kosher salt). Bake for 15-20 minutes and serve with your favorite dip.

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These make a great main dish or appetizer. Cut in half on an angle for a nice appetizer-sized portion.

RECIPES:

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Baked Chicken Taquitos
—————-(adapted from OurBestBites)

4 oz (1/2 pkg) cream cheese
1/4 C green salsa
1 lime, juiced (about 2 Tbs)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbs chili powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 green onions, sliced
3 cups cooked, shredded chicken
1 1/2 cups grated Pepper Jack or Monterey Jack cheese

12-18 small flour or corn tortillas
kosher salt
olive oil or vegetable oil

sour cream, salsa, guacamole or Cilantro Ranch Dressing (for dipping)

Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray (or use non-stick foil).

Heat cream cheese in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds, until soft. Add green salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion and garlic powders. Stir to combine and then add cilantro and green onions. Add chicken and cheese and combine well. (You can prepare this mixture ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until you are ready to cook.)

If you are using corn tortillas: Work with a few tortillas at a time and heat in the microwave between damp paper towels for about 20-30 seconds until they are soft enough to roll without cracking. Flour tortillas can be worked with at room temperature.

Place about 3 Tbs of chicken mixture on the lower third of a tortilla, keeping it about 1/2 inch from the edges. Roll it up as tightly as you can. Place seam side down on the baking sheet. Lay all of the taquitos on the baking sheet and make sure they are not touching each other.

Using a pastry brush, brush the tops of the uncooked taquitos lightly with oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake at 425°F for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and the ends just begin to brown.

Serve whole, or cut taquitos in half on an angle (this is a nicer size for appetizers).

Serve with sour cream, salsa, guacamole or Cilantro Ranch Dressing for dipping.

Makes about 12-18 taquitos (using small flour tortillas); amount will vary depending on the size of the tortillas

Cilantro Ranch Dressing

1 package ranch dressing mix
1 cup mayonnaise
½ cup kefir or buttermilk (or regular milk)
2 tomatillos** or 4 Tbs green salsa
½ bunch of cilantro (about 1 cup chopped)
2 cloves garlic
1 lime, juiced
1-2 jalapenos (with or without the seeds; with seeds=spicier)

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until well mixed. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours before serving for optimal flavor.

**Optional: Roast tomatillos for 20 mins at 400°F before adding them to the blender. If you are using a spicy green salsa instead of the tomatillos, go easy on the jalapenos.

FOR A THICKER DIP: Use 1/2 cup mayo and 1/2 cup sour cream, and reduce the kefir/buttermilk to 1/4 cup.

 

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Black Bean Fruit Salsa and Spicy Grilled Chicken

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I love the colors of summer food. Bright, vibrant hues that scream freshness!

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This fresh salsa is one of my favorites. Fresh tomatoes, mangos (or peaches or nectarines), cilantro, black beans, and just a little bit of fresh hot pepper. It is not too spicy, which makes it perfect to pair with a spicy grilled chicken.

RECIPES:

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Spicy Grilled Chicken
—————-
(adapted from Once Upon a Plate)

6 boneless chicken breasts or 10 boneless chicken thighs
1 Tbs smoked paprika
1 Tbs chili paste (or 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes)
6 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 chopped mint leaves

Place chicken pieces in a Ziploc bag.

Combine paprika, chili paste, garlic, salt, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce and mint. Add to the bag with the chicken. Seal and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours, or overnight.

Heat grill. Remove chicken from marinade and grill until cooked through.

Serve with Black Bean Fruit Salsa, if desired.

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Black Bean Fruit Salsa

1 cup black beans, drained & rinsed
1 cup corn
3-4 tomatoes, chopped (or 2 cups quartered cherry tomatoes)
1-2 mangos, nectarines, or peaches, chopped
1 hot banana or jalapeno pepper, minced
1 small red onion, finely chopped
5 green onions, sliced
3 Tbs fresh lime juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbs olive oil
1/2 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
½ tsp salt

Combine all ingredients. Toss gently. Serve with tortilla chips or as a condiment to grilled chicken or fish.

Also try with  Grilled Peruvian Chicken Thighs

 

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Last Minute Dinners: Salsa Chicken (and a Mexican Coleslaw)

01-20-10 096-1 Looking for something quick, easy and delicious to throw together for a last-minute dinner? This Salsa Chicken has been the answer to many of my “Oh no! It’s 5 o’clock already! What am I going to cook tonight?” dilemmas.

Simply brown some chicken breasts (generously seasoning with garlic powder, cumin and chili powder).

01-20-10 080-1 Mix together a jar of taco sauce or salsa with just a little cocoa powder and cinnamon and pour over your chicken. (since there is a lot of sauce with this dish, I use a mild or medium variety of taco sauce/salsa) Cover and cook about 10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Stir in some chopped cilantro.

Top with cheese – Provolone is my favorite, but I also use Swiss, cheddar or Muenster if I don’t have any provolone.

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Let the cheese melt and serve with rice. We like Vigo brand “Yellow Rice”, a mild saffron flavored Spanish rice.

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And if you are organized enough to plan ahead for this dinner, this Mexican Lime & Cilantro Coleslaw goes really well with it:

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The coleslaw goes together really quickly if you use a prepackaged coleslaw mix. The pre-planning just comes in the grocery shopping part.

RECIPES:

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Salsa Chicken

4-6 chicken breasts, trimmed
1 Tbs oil
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 ½ cups taco sauce or salsa
1 tsp cocoa powder
1/8 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbs (or more) chopped fresh cilantro
4-6 slices Provolone or Swiss cheese

Heat oil in skillet; add chicken. Sprinkle with cumin, chili powder and garlic powder (I don’t usually measure these spices; I just sprinkle them on both sides of the chicken). Cook until chicken is browned on both sides. Combine salsa, cocoa and cinnamon. Pour over chicken. Cover and cook about 10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Stir in cilantro.

Just before serving, top each chicken piece with a slice of cheese. Cover and let cheese just begin to melt. Serve over rice (our favorite is Vigo brand “Yellow Rice”, a Spanish saffron flavored rice).

..

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Mexican Lime & Cilantro Coleslaw
(adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen)

1 bag coleslaw mix
5 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 T fresh lime juice, (about half of a large lime)
red or green Tabasco sauce to taste (I use 5 “shakes”)
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper (or to taste)

Combine coleslaw mix, green onions and cilantro.

In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, lime juice, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings. Mix dressing into cabbage mixture.

Serve immediately, or chill for a few hours.

 

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Prize-Winning Shredded Chicken & Black Bean Chili

Friday night  I came home with First Prize in a Chili Cook-Off!

DSC03130Okay, so it was only the annual church Halloween Trunk-or-Treat and Chili Cook-Off, and this was my big prize, but isn’t he cute!

I actually tried a new recipe, created on the fly that same day, so I am glad that it turned out edible!

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Earlier in the week I had cooked a bunch of chicken in my crock-pot for some enchiladas that I wanted to make. And if I’m going to go to the trouble to shred chicken, I’m going to shred A LOT of it. Freezer bags are my best friend! So I had lots of extra shredded chicken on hand. (This would also be a great meal for leftover chopped Thanksgiving turkey)

DSC02976Since I knew I was going to use the chicken in Mexican dishes,  I filled my crock pot with trimmed chicken breasts and poured on about one cup of salsa. Then turned it on low and forgot about it for the rest of the day.

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DSC02993Perfect shredded chicken by early afternoon!

I used several different kinds of hot peppers in this chili: jalapeno, hot banana peppers, and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. The jalapeno and banana peppers I roasted first. I love the flavor of chipotle peppers, but I never use a full can.

DSC03067So thanks to my friends the freezer bags, I have more on hand for another day.

Other than that, it is a standard tomato based chili recipe using chicken and black beans (plus some extra flavor items like chocolate, lime juice and cilantro!).

Hope you like it as well as the hungry trunk-or-treaters!

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Little J and Little A

Aren’t my little trunk-or-treaters cute!

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RECIPE:

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Shredded Chicken & Black Bean Chili

2 (15oz) cans diced tomatoes
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 large onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 yellow pepper, chopped
2-3 assorted hot peppers, roasted and chopped
1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped
1 small can mild diced chilies (optional)
1 Tbs adobo sauce (from chipotle pepper can)
2 Tbs chili powder
1 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs dried oregano
2 tsp cocoa powder (or 1 oz dark chocolate)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (use more or less as desired)
Juice of 1 lime (about 2-3 Tbs)
3-4 cups shredded chicken (or leftover chicken/turkey, chopped)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (use more if desired)

Shredded cheddar cheese, green onions  and/or sour cream for garnish (optional)

Place diced tomatoes in the bottom of a large (5-6 quart) crock-pot. If desired, use a potato masher to slightly mash tomatoes. Add remaining ingredients (except **chicken, cilantro and garnishes). Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Taste and adjust spices to desired heat. Stir in chicken. Cook an additional 30 minutes. If the chili is too thick, add a little water or chicken broth. Stir in cilantro just before serving. Garnish with cheese, chopped green onions and/or sour cream.

**NOTE: Since the chicken is pre-cooked, don’t cook it with the rest of the chili all day. It will make the chicken disintegrate into tiny shreds. Add the chicken at the end of the cooking time, and heat through.

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