Saturday, March 12, 2016

Chili chicken: our 'save the day' recipe #recipe @AbbottMysteries

By Victoria Abbott aka Mary Jane and Victoria Maffini

This is a comfort recipe in our family and it’s one that we always have in the freezer for unexpected arrivals (no names mentioned).  Just thaw slightly and bake. It's also great and easy, when you have chicken thighs on hand. You can whip it up fresh and cook it in less than an hour.  If you need to deliver a meal to help someone out, this one travels well and is always appreciated. Everyone loves it and we get requests from grandchildren too!
Not only that, but it’s cheap and cheerful.  It’s good all year round but is especially nice on a cold and rainy night.  Trust us, we have lots of those.
We don’t even remember where we got the recipe. That is lost in the mists of time. At one point it was scrawled on a file card in a little beige plastic recipe box,  but we’ve made so many changes, we might not recognize it if we do ever find that card!

1 pound chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
1 cup Heinz chili sauce (plain or with peppers)
¼ cup cider vinegar or lemon
¼ cup brown sugar (you could use Splenda brown)
¼ cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (you can use dried mustard – two tsps)

Preheat oven to 350.

Place  chicken in a shallow baking dish.

Mix all other ingredients and pour over chicken.

Bake for about 50 minutes, until sauce is bubbly and chicken is cooked through.

We all love this with orzo and a green vegetable and salad.  We've served it here with quinoa salad.

We hope you enjoy this! Why not drop in and let us know what your favorite go-to or emergency recipe is. 

Stay sane in the kitchen, friends!

Victoria Abbott is the mysterious collaboration between the artist and photographer Victoria Maffini and her mother, the mystery writer, Mary Jane Maffini.  Strangely enough, their four book collector mysteries, The Christie Curse, The Sayers Swindle, The Wolfe Widow and The Marsh Madness
all contain lots of food.

We're really excited about the forthcoming fifth installment The Hammett Hex in October 2016. 


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  1. I fear I am tempted to make this even though it's not an emergency. We're looking at three days of rain, though, so maybe that qualifies.

  2. Have fun with it, Krista. We actually make it all year long. XO


  3. MJ, This seems to be a very flavourful, easy chicken dish to add to my collection. I will try it soon!

    1. I hope you like it, Grace! Thanks for coming by. Hugs. MJ

  4. Yum, yum, yum! Can't wait to try this. And just finished March Madness. Loved it! ~ Daryl

    1. Marsh Madness - can you see I'm thinking basketball? Sheesh. LOL

    2. Thanks, Daryl! Thanks for your kinds words about the 'Madness'! XO MJ

  5. This looks like something easy to put together after work--those are the kind of recipes I'm always looking for. Can't wait to try it.

    1. That's where I first started to use it, but it's stuck as a family favorite. Hugs. MJ

  6. Looks nice and easy with lots of flavor! Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Thank you, Kim!It's so retro, but we love it! Hugs. MJ

  7. I hope the comments area is feeling more helpful. now. Earlier today it refused to post my comment.

    With so little prep it can be on the table in about an hour.
    And it's delicious?

    1. Comment areas cannot be controlled! What's that about, Libby? It is less than an hour and so easy. Orzo is perfect with it. Hugs. MJ

  8. I'm going to make this for my husband for our wedding anniversary. He saw me lloking at the recipe and said that it looks delicious. I can't wait to see if it is. Only a couple more weeks.

  9. My gavorite recipe for a quick dinner has only 3 ingredients. Cook 1 1/2 sticks of butter slowly over low heat until a light golden brown, toss with one pound of cooked spaghetti noodles and a cup of shredded Mizithra cheese.