Salsa Chicken

This is the $1 Million Grand Prize winner of the 1998 Pillsbury Bake-Off.  I wish I came up with a recipe that won me $1 million!  In any case, I think it’s worth every penny.  This dish has so much flavour and will keep in the fridge for at least 5 days.  I used to measure out the ingredients but now I just dump them all together in one big pot and it works.  For my photos today, I’ll measure for you.

If you are time-poor (aren’t we all?) then this will save you one night a week. I prep this every Sunday and pop it on the stove to reheat when I’m running late from work. I find it tastes even better once it’s been pre-cooked and has time for the flavours to settle.


    • 1 tbsp. olive oil for almonds + 1 tbsp. olive oil for chicken
    • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped almonds
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 8 chicken thighs, skinned
    • 1 cup Salsa (check the label and make sure there is no sugar!)
    • 2 tbsp. currants (these are next to the sultanas but if you’re on a budget, just grab sultanas instead – they’ll do the trick too. win win!)
    • 1 tbsp. raw local honey, optional and can easily be removed if you’re on a sugar detox
    • 3/4 tsp. cumin
    • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon


Heat oil in a small skillet and toast almonds 1 – 2 minutes or until golden brown.  Stay near them, you will need to stir them constantly. Set aside once completed and feel free to do a large batch and store these toasted in the fridge or freezer. I find I make everything in bulk these days because it saves me time.

Heat second tbsp. of olive oil in a large, deep-sided pot and add garlic.  Allow to cook while stirring for 1 minute.

Add your chicken thighs, sauté 4 -5 minutes until slightly browned on both sides.  You’ll only turn them once.

Add the remaining ingredients (except the nuts) and mix well. This isn’t going to be the prettiest meal, but it’s going to taste darn good!

Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook for 20 minutes. By coving, you’ll retain a lot of the liquid. We’ll boil that off in the next step.

Remove cover and cook for a further 10 minutes or until sauce has boiled down and thickened.

This dish goes very well with a side of steamed broccoli. Garnish with your toasted almonds and serve. As I said earlier, I make this every Sunday and leave it covered in my fridge until I need it that week and I inevitably need it because life happens and my plans for dinner get changed all the time. I can walk in from work, pop this on the stove and chop broccoli up to be steamed in the microwave. So simple & delicious! It’s a crowd favourite in our house!

Not sure how to steam broccoli in the microwave? Read on!

Steaming broccoli happens multiple times a week for dinner in our house. I like to use a glass pyrex bowl with a glass lid. Microwaving plastic has been shown through various studies to be harmful so we avoid it when possible.

  • In the top left photos, I am showing you how I chop my broccoli into bite sides pieces and always include the stalks. The stalks are packed with fibre. Broccoli is a great source of calcium so get as much of that nutrient dense food in that you can!
  • The top right photo shows me adding 2-4 tbsp water. This will do the steaming while we microwave. Place the lid on the dish and microwave on high for 7 minutes (I am using a 2-quart pyrex dish here. If you have something smaller, you will microwave for less time). Be VERY careful removing the dish from the microwave. It will be extremely hot so use a tea-towel. Slightly tilt the lid (watch out for the steam) and carefully pour the water off. Make sure all small hands are a safe distance away!
  • Your broccoli should be very bright green, like the photo at the bottom.

I add 1 tbsp grass-fed butter, replace the lid and toss. Adding a fat with your vegetables will unlock the fat-soluble vitamins so while steaming is the best way to lock in the most nutrients, you need to have a fat present like butter or oil to gain the full benefits.