Monday, July 28, 2014

Getting back to beans- Chicken Bean & Rice Nachos

I've gone back to looking at all the research I did on beans over a year ago and am starting to try out some new recipes from those I collected then. Using the crock pot when it's close to triple digits outside is a good thing as far as I'm concerned. It's not just used for cold days around my house.

Here's one we tried this weekend. It doesn't look great, but it tastes wonderful. I'd suggest you stack the rice, then chicken/bean sauce, then cheese on each plate and serve it that way for the best acceptance. The chicken/bean sauce looks odd by itself. I'm glad we didn't add the rice and corn to it. I've added my tweaks in italics to the printed recipe.

Chicken Bean & Rice Nachos
from Taste of Home Slow Cooker Cookbook
by Barbara Schweitzer, Chesapeake, Virginia

1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts  (I used 2, 14.4 oz cans of chicken)
1 jar (16 oz) salsa   (I used 8 oz diced tomatoes blended with 8 oz picante)
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed (I made my own black beans & froze them in 16 oz portions; used 1)
1 can (7 oz) Mexicorn, drained (we served warmed kernel corn as a side)
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, cubed (we used lite cream cheese, didn't make it runny)
3 c cooked rice (done in rice cooker during the last hour before meal)
3/4 c shredded Mexican cheese blend (we used shredded cheddar)
Tortilla chips

Place the chicken in a 3 qt slow cooker. In a small bowl, combine the salsa, beans and corn (I didn't add the corn); pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until the chicken is tender. (With the cooked chicken, I put in on low for 1.5 hours, then dropped it to warm for 1 hour before serving).

Remove chicken, cool slightly. Shred with two forks and return to slow cooker. (Not necessary if you have the cooked chicken). Stir in cream cheese, heat through. (After stirring thoroughly, this was for about 10 min on the warm setting). To serve, place the rice in a serving bowl, top with chicken mixture and cheese blend. Serve with tortilla chips.

Yield: 6 servings  (Those are hearty proportions -this was enough in our family for 10 servings)

Note in cookbook: Why rinse the beans? The liquid that surrounds canned beans is salty, thick and murky. Rinsing the beans in a colander under cold running water will remove the liquid and excess salt. If you don't rinse the beans, the dish can be too salty and have and undesirable flavor or texture.

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