Spicy Chicken and Spinach

Boy do I owe this recipe an apology. 

This dish is tweaked and based on a recipe I've had sitting in a very well used 3-ring-binder for ten years.  Yes....  10. Years.  And I've flipped past it, never made it because the list of ingredients seemed so boring, so common and so blah, that I didn't give it the time of day.  Today that changed.

It started simply enough.  I grabbed two Ziploc packages of frozen, boneless, skinless chicken breasts from the freezer, popped them into my electric skillet on 300 degrees and let them cook while I did other things.  When they were cooked I wasn't sure what I was going to do with them, so I flipped open one of my kazillion 3-ring binders where I have old recipes hand written, printed, ripped out of old magazines, etc.  And my eyes fell on a very boring looking chicken and spinach casserole recipe.  It only caught my attention because it called for 3 cups of cooked, diced chicken (which I had in front of me) and spinach... which is currently my 18 year old daughter's favorite vegetable that she can't get enough of.

I added a bunch of jalapenos, some salsa (because I made homemade fresh salsa a few days ago and wanted to use it up), some red and orange peppers and viola!  I taste tested it before it was even heated through, loved it so much, I immediately (yes, immediately)  made a second batch to put in the freezer for a future dinner.  I am also going to copy it right now to send the link to my oldest daughter to add to her 'whip this up for dinner' and it's "soooo good" file.

Spicy Chicken and Spinach

3 cups cooked, diced chicken
10 oz. pk. frozen spinach, thawed
1/2 yellow and 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
1 T butter
1/2 c jalapeno slices (canned) or 2 small jalapeno's fresh (increase, decrease)
8 oz. cream cheese
1/3 c sour cream
1 1/2 c salsa or 14 oz. can diced tomatoes w/ peppers, onions, garlic, salt and lime juice mixed in to taste
1/2 t ground cumin
1/2 t chili powder
1 c cheddar cheese

Mix the chicken and spinach in a casserole dish.  Saute' the onion and pepper in butter until tender.  Add the jalapenos, mix and add to the chicken/spinach.  Heat the salsa (or the tomato/onion/pepper/garlic/lime/salt) in a pan.  Add the cream cheese and heat through.  Pour over the chicken mixture.  Add the sour cream, spices and cheese.  Mix and bake at 350 until heated through and bubbly or microwave if you are in a hurry or don't want to heat up the kitchen.

I tasted it at this stage;  pre-cream cheese and sour cream and salsa and it was amazing already!
I would even venture to make this and serve as it is;  without the cheeses as a lighter alternative.
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