Back Pocket Dinners, Black Bean Chicken

Black Bean Chicken is THE meal of my childhood. I can send a picture of it to my brother and sister and almost promise that they would get in the car and drive to my house for dinner, and they live in Houston and Dallas. I am banking on building that kind of food memory with my kids, so I always have a thread to pull them home when missing them gets to be too much. That is just how deep the comfort of this meal is for my family. I am happy to share this recipe with you all and hope you love it as much as we do. For this recipe I am doing the long way and the short way.  

Black Bean Chicken

6 chicken breasts

3 cups black beans (short way-2 cans, long way-read below)

1/2-1 cup salsa (I drain a jar of Royito's for this) 

1 c. monterrey jack cheese, shredded

salt and pepper

2 T chili powder 

2-3 cloves chopped garlic

2 T olive oil

for garnish

2 avocados, sliced

3 radishes, sliced

whole wheat tortillas

Set oven to 350. Mix salt, pepper, chili and chopped garlic and set aside. Drain the black beans. Mix half of the seasoning into the beans. Rinse chicken breasts. Dust chicken breasts with other half of seasoning. Heat olive oil over medium and brown the chicken. Place breasts in baking pan, cover with salsa, then add beans on top and finish with cheese. Bake for 40-45 minutes until bubbly. 

Serve with sliced avocado, radishes, and whole wheat tortillas. Weezie (my mom) would only serve this with whole wheat tortillas, so anything else feels blasphemous to me, but do your own thing.

Beans the long way

2 cups dried beans

1 onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 jalapeño, sliced

salt ****this goes last after the beans are already cooked****

stock or water

Here is how I make great beans. Put the dry beans in to soak overnight. They should double in size. Cook the onions, garlic, and jalapeño in a little olive oil until they are soft, add in beans plus water or stock (unsalted) to cover the beans. Bring them to a raging boil for 15 minutes, then drop them to the gentlest simmer your stove will allow to finish cooking. Once the beans squish easily, add salt. Will take an hour or so. 



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