Friday, March 23, 2012

The Dark Side

When we had chicken for dinner when I was growing up, there was always a little tussle over who would get the coveted white meat.  Back then, chickens weren't bred to be as freakishly large as they are now, so there was less white meat to be had.  Drumsticks were always the last to go in my house.

Old habits die hard: I still favor the white meat.  But I've recently ventured to the dark side.  I've discovered that chicken thighs are pretty darn tasty, too.  They stay moist and don't have as gamey a taste as I remember from my childhood days.  Or maybe my tastebuds have changed.  Anyway, I have found boneless, skinless thighs for the same price as the breasts lately and decided to use them in this delicious, one-pot meal.  The original recipe is for a slow cooker, but I cooked it on the stove top.

Latin Chicken
(click here to print)

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14 ounce) can yellow corn
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup salsa (heat level to your liking--I used medium)
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • lime wedges, for garnish

  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle 1/4 cup cilantro over the chicken thighs; brown the chicken in the frying pan, 3 to 5 minutes each side.

Add the sweet potato chunks, red bell peppers, and garlic.

Combine the chicken stock, remaining cilantro, salsa, and spices and add to the chicken and vegetables, stirring gently.

Cover the pot and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low.  Simmer for about 45 minutes or until the vegetables and chicken are tender.  Add the black beans and corn last and stir to incorporate.

I served this over quinoa for a healthy, colorful, and delightfully different meal.  A squeeze of fresh lime really adds brightness to the overall dish.

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