Thursday, January 15, 2009

Slow-Cooked Tex-Mex Chicken and Beans

Recipe from Everyday Food and Husband-Tested in Alice's Kitchen

I'm thinking this would be a perfect meal for your Super Bowl dinner!! This is so easy to make, but really has lots of flavor and is packed with a whopping 13 grams of fiber per serving. For this memorable fix-and-forget chicken stew, use a high-quality salsa to save time without skimping on flavor; choose a jar with a short ingredient list. I used "Green Mountain Gringo Salsa" medium heat which is found at Lost River Market & Deli. It also comes in mild heat for those who shy away from anything spicy. This salsa has no perservatives in it; it's all natural. Chipotle Chilis in Abobo Sauce are smoked jalapeno chilis. A little goes a long way. You'll only need a small amount, so put the leftover from the can in the freezer for when you make this dish again. Serve this chicken stew on its own or over brown rice or even tortilla chips. Add a crisp salad for a complete meal! Try the Orange and Avocado Salad . The recipe is on this blog!

· 1 cup dried pinto beans, rinsed
· 1 jar (11 ounces) mild or medium salsa (1 1/2 cups)
· 2 tablespoons chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
· 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
· 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 8)
· Coarse salt and ground pepper
· 1 medium red onion, chopped
· 1 red bell pepper (ribs and seeds removed), chopped
· 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream, for serving (optional)
· 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, for serving (optional)

1. In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker, stir together beans, salsa, chiles, flour, and 1 cup water. Season chicken with salt and pepper; arrange on top of bean mixture. Scatter onion and bell pepper on top of chicken.
2. Cover and cook on low heat for 8 hours. (Do not open lid or stir.)
3. Remove chicken from stew; shred into large pieces and return to stew. Serve topped with sour cream and cilantro.

Oven method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Follow step 1, using a 5-quart Dutch oven or large pot, substituting 2 cans (15 ounces each) pinto beans, drained and rinsed, for dried beans, and increasing water to 2 cups. Cover pot and bring to a simmer on top of the stove. Transfer to oven, and cook until chicken is tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Proceed with step 3.

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