The Thanksgiving leftovers are just about gone, so it’s time to head back to the kitchen. Slow-Cooked Tex-Mex Chicken and Beans from the November 2007 issue of Everyday Food is a great “Thanksgiving recovery” dish – it’s pretty healthy, it requires minimal effort, and there’s no turkey involved. 😉
For my food prep, I started by sorting and rinsing 1 cup dried pinto beans. Next, I trimmed excess fat from 8 chicken thighs and chopped up 2 tablespoons canned chipotle chiles in adobo, 1 red onion, and 1 red bell pepper.
I lined my slow cooker with a Reynolds slow cooker liner (a true mess saver!) and stirred together the beans and chiles along with 1 jar (11 oz.) salsa, 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, and 1 cup water. I seasoned the chicken with salt and pepper and placed it on top of the mixture, and then sprinkled the chopped onion and bell pepper on top of the chicken.
After 8 hours in the slow cooker on low heat, I removed the chicken thighs from the stew, shredded them into large pieces with two forks, and stirred them back in. A dollop of sour cream and a bit of cilantro finished off each bowl of stew.
This was really tasty and ridiculously easy. It would be perfect for a weeknight if you wanted to throw it together in the morning before work. I’ll definitely make it again.
TIPS: When working with dry beans, make sure you never dump them straight from the bag into your cooking dish. There are usually small pebbles and bits of dirt mixed in with the beans, and you want to make sure you sort out anything you’d rather not eat (or serve to someone else) before rinsing the beans.
Also, canned chipotle chiles in adobo pack quite a spicy punch. This recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of chopped chiles. If you’re not really into spicy foods, you might cut the amount down to 1 tablespoon. If you’re going to feed this to picky kids, you might drop it down to 1 teaspoon for a hint of flavor, or leave it out altogether.
I couldn’t find this recipe on the Everyday Food Web site (again – sorry!), but I’ve given you exact recipe amounts and cooking times. I believe this issue is actually still on the newsstands, if you want to snag the recipe there instead.