Monday, May 26, 2014

Slow Cooker to the Rescue!


Oh, busy days. Why does it seem like you are becoming more frequent? Thank goodness for slow cookers on days like those. Here is a great new recipe I found.

Slow-Cooked Tex-Mex Chicken and Beans


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 cup water
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 8) (see notes below)
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
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, for serving


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.

Cover and cook on low heat for 8 hours. (Do not open lid or stir.)

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.

Source: Martha Stewart, Everyday Food, November 2007. You can find the recipe here.

Notes: The dried pinto beans gave this such a good flavor (almost a baked bean, barbecued flavor). I used four boneless, skinless chicken breasts in place of the chicken thighs.


  1. I have never used dried beans. They scare me. :) But you make it sound easy.

  2. I have never had success with dried beans--except in the slow cooker. There is something magical about the slow cooker that helps to soften them up. I put this in a little late in the day and I only had 5 hours to cook it, so I put it on high heat for the entire time. Plus, I was a nerd and forgot to add the water. So, by all means, I should have totally blown this dinner. However, it still worked and it was super tasty. The beans were tender, and they would have been even more tender (and there would have been a little more sauce) if I had remembered to add that cup of water (which is why I added the water into the ingredients section, because it wasn't listed that way in the original recipe, which is why I spaced it and forgot to add it).