Thursday, August 14, 2008

Tex-Mex Chicken and Beans

I suppose that one of the benefits of cooking frequently (and perusing cooking magazines frequently, as well) is a growing ability to look at a recipe and know what it's going to taste like. It's sort of like looking at a piece of music and being able to recognize the tune by sight alone.

I came across this recipe in Everyday Food, and thought it looked good, nutritious, and incredibly easy. It was!

I prepped everything the night before. In the morning, I piled everything in the slow cooker and set it on "high" for 8 hours. It was ready and waiting for me when I came home. We ate this stew-like meal straight up (with a little sour cream), but it would be great on a sandwich or in tacos. Here's what's in it (as I stored it the night before):

Bowl 1:
* 1 cup of dried pinto beans, rinsed
* 11 oz of fresh salsa (I used hot salsa - it!)
* 2 TBS canned chipotle chilis in adobo sauce (more heat!)
* 2 TBS flour
* 1 cup water

Bowl 2:
* a medium red onion, chopped
* a red bell pepper, chopped

In the morning:
Put the contents of Bowl 1 in the crockpot. Place 1-2 lbs of boneless chicken thighs on top, and season with salt and pepper. Dump Bowl 2 on top of that. Cook on 'low' for 8 hours, shred the chicken with a couple of forks, and serve with sour cream and cilantro. (Yes, I accidentally set mine on 'high' with no detrimental effects!)

I should say, too, that I faithfully avoid dark meat, and nothing disappoints me more than when I am covertly served dark meat in a restaurant (especially when hidden in a nice Chinese-food batter!). Using the thighs is absolutely the way to go in this recipe — they stay moist in the slow cooker, and they had a wonderful flavor.

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