It’s the first weekend in March and my family is spending it doing yard work, sprinkled with a wrestling banquet and the Cub Scout’s Pinewood Derby. My husband avoids yard work  at all costs and it is mostly left to me, mainly because I care more what it looks like than he does. But, this one weekend every year I enlist the help of the entire clan. My garden consists of mainly maintenance free plants and shrubs, but even they still need a little attention once a year.


I’m up in a crepe myrtle pruning the branches and I notice the daylight is starting to fade and I realize we hadn’t put any thought into what we were going to have for dinner. So, at almost 6pm and my boys declaring their hunger, I rush inside to see what we have.

Chicken, I had the foresight to defrost a package of chicken breasts. Now what? I have some leftover chicken stock. Let’s throw that in a pot and start getting it heated. I trim the fat off the chicken breasts and throw them in the pot. Let’s see where that takes us. Oh darn, the breasts aren’t covered. Let’s see, water, water covers breasts. Now let’s get this thing heated up. I bring it to a boil and reduce to a simmer.

Let’s see what else I can throw in this pot. Beans, diced tomatoes, spices. Okay, we can make something here. I start throwing in some spices, eyeballing the amount I put in. Hey, I’m in a rush here. Chili powder, cumin, garlic salt, that sounds good. Hmmm, ranch seasoning, that never hurt anything, so I throw in some of that too.


When the chicken is cooked through remove it from the pot and let cool slightly. Once cool, shred with two forks. Meanwhile add one can of diced tomatoes and two cans of beans, drained and rinsed. I used great northern beans. Black beans, kidney beans or pinto beans would be nice too. Add the shredded chicken. I think we have something here. Oh look, I even have shredded cheese, salsa and sour cream. Success, we have a winner, winner, chicken dinner.20160305_182656-1

And as a friendly reminder, please remember to wear a hat during that first of the season yard work. Even when it’s still cool out the sun can burn your forehead, ouch.



1 lb chicken breasts

16 oz chicken stock

enough water to cover breasts

1 T chili powder

1 T cumin

1 tsp garlic salt

1 tsp ranch seasoning

1 can diced tomatoes

2 cans beans, rinsed and drained