Saturday, May 21, 2011

One Rotisserie Chicken Please: Part 1 Hominy Casserole

My sister posted on this a while ago when she was doing her budgeting month and it was actually a little trick I guided her to. I've mentioned this before but I was laid off for 8 months nearly 2 years ago, so in that time I was able to gather all sorts of fun ways to still eat well while on a budget. This was one of my favorite because it allowed me to feel a little like I was splurging and yes, I know a rotisserie chicken doesn't sound all that exciting but being able to buy something that someone else made is a huge luxury when you're watching where even nickle and dime is going.

For 1 person, or even 2... a whole chicken can translate into 5-6 different meals. And it's easy. Don't feel like making enchiladas, or chicken pot pie, or aji de gallina, and I can assure you, there were plenty of nights where the thought of cooking, the act of using up supplies and thus by default further dwindling my bank account was too depressing to get me into my "cooking mode." So simply chop up some of the chicken, mix with a little mayo and mustard, add in a nut or crunchy veg and some raisins and voila, chicken salad.

Of course, if you are so inclined you can just roast your own whole chicken- and I'll go into that later, but my fancy market has dozens available any given weeknight and usually in several different flavors (ancho, italian, lemon and rosemary, etc). My first meal from a rotisserie chicken is usually a simple sandwich, toasted bread, a tiny spread of mayo and horseradish, maybe a little arugula and then just shredded chicken. But my second this time around was a hominy casserole, a compilation of what I just happened to have on hand. And it was delicious.

If you aren't familiar, hominy is corn that's been soaked in lye. It was used by the Native Americans to make grits or grind for masa. It has a nutty bite and can be almost creamy, so it's great to use in a casserole if you want to cut down on the less healthy dairy elements.

Hominy Casserole
1 can hominy
1/4 c. fat free sour cream
1/2 c. shredded monterey jack cheese
1 c. shredded chicken
1 roasted poblano
2 Tbl. olive oil
1 onion finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
3 Tbl. cilantro pesto
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350. Roast the poblano and peel. Discard seeds and finely chop. In a skillet heat oil and saute onions and garlic, once translucent add the spices. In a separate bowl combine drained hominy, chicken, sour cream, pesto, 1/2 c. of the cheese and poblano. Mix to combine.

2. Add hominy mixture to the skillet and toss together. Taste for salt/pepper. Spread out evenly in the skillet and top with remaining cheese. Bake for 25 minutes until top is bubbly and golden.

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