Friday, November 2, 2012

Crockpot Black Bean Chili

I think most working mothers would agree... I am head over heels in love with my crock-pot.  I love it so much that I have two, one big one for dinners and a baby one for side dishes, oatmeal and cheese dips for parties. This recipe is born out of necessity, but it takes advantage of the crock-pot two ways. 1. Slowly braises delicious whole chicken which I then take out and reserve half of the meat for my take two dinner later this week. 2. A set it up and forget it chili that uses all of the delicious cooking liquid as the broth for the chili.

I recently found that it is much better for the environment and better for the pocket book to buy whole chickens. But, alas, I am not the best butcher, so I have found a shortcut that gives me perfectly cooked meat that I do not have cut anything. I call it my:

Perfectly Braised Crock-pot Chicken 

What you need
Trusted crock-pot
1 chicken thawed with bits and giblets taken out
2 cups of wine, apple juice, water... anything you have in the fridge that will go well with chicken
salt and pepper

What you do
1. Set your crock-pot to low
2. Pour in your cooking liquid
3. Place your chicken in, breast side down, flavor the top of the chicken with salt and pepper.
4. Come back in 8 hours to perfectly cooked chicken.

Now you can do anything you want with it. But, for me this week it is going to be Black Bean Chili and Mock-rrocan Chicken Tagine.

Black Bean Chili 

I think the key to good chili is to buy whole dried chilies and grind them up yourself. I call it my chili slurry because I use a blender. You can buy your dried chiles online or in a Latin market. But you really cannot beat the flavor.

Here is what you need:
2 Ancho chiles
2 Chiles de Arboles
2 Passia chiles
1/2 cup of water
1 chopped onion
1 tin 16oz of black beans
1 tin 28oz of chopped tomatoes
1 cup of chicken stock or cooking liquid from the crock-pot you cooked the chicken in
1 cup of shredded chicken

Here is what you do:
1. Toast the chiles in a dry pan, do not let them get burned or blackened they will become bitter
2. Take the tops of the chiles and scrape out the seeds
3. Add the chiles and water into a blender and create a slurry
4. Add all of the ingredients into a crock-pot except the chicken, you do not want it overcooked
5. Cook on high for an hour or a more to let the flavors come together.
6. About 5 minutes before serving add the chicken so that it can heat through.
7. Serve with sour cream, hot sauce, and cheddar cheese shredded

Enjoy! Much love, many blessings and happy cooking!

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