Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Black Beans and Rice with Chicken and Apple Salsa

Even though I am typically not a fan of black beans I was really drawn to this recipe.  It just sounded so interesting - so different from the things we typically make.  And if we had made the recipe as intended (using a store-bought rotisserie chicken instead of roasting our own chicken breasts), it would have been a fairly quick and easy meal to throw together, so that was another draw.  As it turns out, I actually like black beans.  Or at the very least, I really liked these particular black beans.  My main problem with black beans is that they are often starchy and muddy tasting, with a really mushy texture.  These were really flavorful and we left them pretty much intact so they still had a little texture.  We added some serrano chilis to the black beans and the salsa to give it all some kick and I think that touch was key.  A little spice can work wonders for me.  The beans went really nicely with the chicken, the apple salsa and the brown rice.  I thought it all just worked really nicely together.  Alex and I were both surprised by how flavorful the dish was.  He actually liked it so much that he brought in the leftover beans, rice and apple salsa to work - even though he thought it made him look like a hobo since that entire portion probably cost less than $0.50.

Recipe after the jump!

Black Beans and Rice with Chicken and Apple Salsa
Adapted from Bon Appetit
January 2012

For chicken:
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
2/3 tsp ancho chili powder
1/3 tsp cumin
1/3 tsp ground coriander
1 tbsp peanut oil
For salsa:
1 cup chopped peeled Granny Smith apple
1/2 cup chopped cilantro, divided
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion, divided
1 teaspoon (or more) fresh lime juice
1-2 tsp serrano chili, finely chopped (if you don't like heat, remove the seeds)
For beans:
1/3 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 tsp serrano chili, finely chopped (if you don't like heat, remove the seeds)
1 1/2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
3 cups chicken stock
2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups cooked brown rice
4–6 lime wedges

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Season the chicken breasts liberally with s&p,. Heat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet (or other heavy, oven-safe skillet) over medium to medium-high heat. Add peanut oil. Once oil is hot, place chicken in the skillet skin-side down. Brown for about 5 minutes. Turn the chicken over and place skillet in oven. Roast chicken for 25-30 minutes (until chicken juices run clear when you pierce the chicken with a sharp knife).  Set chicken aside to cool for 5 minutes.

While the chicken is roasting, combine apple, 1/4 cup cilantro, 2 tablespoons onion, 1-2 tsp serrano, and 1 teaspoon lime juice in a small bowl; toss to coat. Set apple salsa aside.

Combine remaining onion, bell pepper, and oil in a large skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until completely softened, 6–7 minutes. Add garlic, chili and next 3 ingredients; stir constantly for 2 minutes. Stir in broth and beans; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer briskly, mashing some of the beans with the back of a spoon and stirring often, until sauce is thickened, 8–10 minutes. Season with s&p, and more lime juice, if desired.

Divide rice and beans among plates. Top with roast chicken breasts and apple salsa. Garnish with remaining cilantro and lime wedges.

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