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Lunchbreak: Cooking up Change winner Marina Nava makes chicken rancheros

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Marina Nava

Cooking up Change
November 7
6:00 p.m.
Skyline Loft at the Bridgeport Art Center
1200 W. 35th Street

Chicken Rancheros
Yield: 6 servings

12 oz pre-cooked chicken breast strips
6 Tbs salsa
3 Tbs cilantro, chopped
1 tsp Cajun seasoning
1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
60 tortilla chips
3 Tbs canned jalapeño peppers, diced
3 tsp cheddar cheese, shredded
3 tsp mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 375F. Place chicken strips in medium-sized pot over medium-low heat. Add salsa, soy sauce, Cajun seasoning and Dijon mustard.  Stir to combine. Bring chicken mixture to a low simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until flavorful and tender, about 10-15 minutes. Once mixture is fully heated, reduce heat to low. Meanwhile, layer tortilla chips on an oven-proof serving dish. Layer chicken mixture on top of chips, then add mozzarella and cheddar cheese. Bake at 375 for 5 to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Garnish with cilantro and jalapeños. Serve immediately.


Be sure to simmer chicken, not boil, so that the flavors will marry.

Make sure that the chicken is at the correct temperature so that it will melt the cheese.

Make sure you have all of your ingredients ready before plating (mise en place).

Don’t be heavy with the salt because the tortillas chips are already salted and it will cause your finished dish to be too salty.

Plate right before service or the chips will get soggy.

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