Monday, February 15, 2016

Slow-Cooked Tex-Mex Chicken and Beans

Serves 6
Recipe from Everyday Food Magazine
Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen

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 preservatives in it; it's all natural.  Chipotle Chilies in Abobo Sauce are smoked jalapeño peppers.  A little goes a long way.  You'll only need a small amount, so put the leftover from the can in the freezer in 1 Tablespoon dollops for when you make this dish again.  Serve this chicken stew on its own or over Easy Brown Rice or even tortilla chips.  Make a batch of homemade Guacamole and it’s a party!  Add a crisp salad for a complete meal!

1 cup dried pinto beans, rinsed
1 jar (11 ounces) mild or medium salsa (1½ cups)
2 Tablespoons chopped canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour (I used whole-wheat flour.)
 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
¼ cup reduced-fat sour cream, for serving (You can also use plain Greek yogurt.)
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, for serving

In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker, stir together beans, salsa, chilies, 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.
Cover and cook on low heat for 7½ to 8 hours. (Do not open lid or stir.) (I've made this a few times and when I got a new slow cooker recently, I noticed that the beans began to stick at 7 1/2 hours, so I turned off the cooker at that point.)
Using two forks, shred into large pieces. Serve topped with sour cream and cilantro.

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