"Sharing can be a way of healing. Grief and loss can isolate,
anger even alienate. Shared with others, emotions unite
as we see we aren't alone. We realize others weep with us."
~Susan Wittig Albert

Through our writing, we walk out of the darkness into the light
together, one small step at a time, recording history, educating
America, and we are healing.
~CJ/Todd Dierdorff

Monday, December 29, 2014

Vietnam Vet Recipes: Southwest Chicken

Frank Fox's Southwest Chicken

by Frank Fox

I know many vets are great cooks. They knock the socks off of family and friends who are graced with their efforts.

The sheer diversity of veterans from all areas of the U.S. tells me they have to be producing some tasty meals, or desserts.

Many have specialties like Chili (Yankee or Southern), fried fish (catfish is my specialty), any kind of beans (I prefer Navy or Pinto), and chicken that's roasted, baked, grilled, in soups, and wings ... the possibilities are endless.  I also like to do ribs.

Then there's Mexican food.  I could win blue ribbons for my enchiladas, or Spanish Chicken and Rice, otherwise known as Aros con Pollo.

I find cookouts with family and friends is good for the soul -- you get to impress them, and they smile when they see you.  I will give you a sample recipe:

Frank’s Southwest Chicken:

Tip:  Take it from an old Corpsman, always take chicken very seriously.  Keep everything clean.  If you use a kitchen towel, only use it for the chicken and then throw it into the wash.  And do wash your hands frequently. 
**First, I like to make a pea salad ahead of time and let it chill.

What You Will Need:

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts. (buy as many as you want to serve)
1 gallon Zip Loc bags
Olive Oil
Coarse pepper
Worcestershire sauce (a dash or two)
Chili powder (a dash or two)
Tip:  I always use Gebhardts Chili Powder for Chili, Enchiladas, and well, any Mexican food. It is not as salty as other brands, and you'll have less of a problem with indigestion. 
Your favorite Chicken Rub.  (I use a rub made by Fiesta, 6 oz. bottle)
Cheddar cheese, cut into strips
Avocado, cut into wedges


Using a gallon zip lock bag, insert one breast at a time into the bag.  Then find a firm spot on your counter, and with a meat hammer, (or other suitable type mallet), pound the breast to an even thickness all over. (It will cook uniformly and it all gets done the same that way). 

In a shallow dish add the olive oil, coarse pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and chili powder.  Mix well.

Dip the breasts in the mixture and get each of them good and wet.

After dipping, sprinkle your favorite Chicken Rub liberally on both sides. 

When you have dipped and sprinkled each of the breasts, put them in clean zip lock bag and into the fridge until you're ready to cook them.  They will marinate well that way.

Cooking Directions:

I use a gas grill for convenience, but I have also cooked the chicken over charcoal, and in the house oven.  Personally, I prefer the grill.

Make sure to coat the grates with oil.  This will prevent any sticking and it helps to put the grill marks on. 

The grill should be fairly hot and you should stay there with it, until you get used to how it cooks. Breasts can cook fast.  Be sure to move, or flip, them often to cut down the scorching. 

When they are firm and less flexible, they are most likely done.  If you have any doubt, cut into one to look for done-ness. 

Before you remove the breasts from the grill, lay a few cheddar cheese strips across the tops of the breasts, close lid for a minute to melt the cheese, and Voila!

Put them on a platter. 

To finish, just add a couple of avocado wedges and pour some iced tea, or your favorite beverage. 

Give it a go -- it really is easy!

If this works well for you and you like it, I have a roasted chicken recipe that you can do in your sleep.  It takes 2-1/2 hours at low temp and you never touch it. I just leave it alone and go mow the yard, or take a walk.

Frank Fox

“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do, and by the grace of God, I will.” ~Everett Hale

Feel free to comment on this post. You are also invited to write about anything you want to share. Memoirs From Nam is YOUR blog. You are writing America's history.


  1. Well in a way this is a RECIPE I would say:

    Cement Kicker
    1 shot Bailey's® Irish cream
    1/2 shot lime juice
    1/2 shot 151 proof rum

    Fill one shot glass with Bailey's. Fill second shot glass with Lime and 151.

    To Drink:
    Pour Bailey's into mouth, do not swallow. Pour Lime and 151 into mouth. Shake head back and fourth, the shot will turn solid.

    1. For safety's sake, swallow both shot glasses then jump up and down instead. This will prevent brain damage from your ears flapping against the side of your head when you shake your head. Also any proportion of Baileys and 151 acts as an emetic, you will toss your cookies. --Frank Fox

  2. Yes, Anonymous, it sure is a recipe -- (and I know if I had just one of these, it would knock me on my butt). But it does sound good!


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