Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Easy Chicken 'n Black Bean Stew



I know right?  It was lip smacking delicious, I am serious!  This recipe started with my experiment on making Polenta. 
I have never made it, and I have heard horror stories to be quite honest, so I kept it on the back burner, or shall I say on my "bucket list" till tonight.  For whatever reason I had it in my mind I was going to make Polenta tonight come hell or high water, and that is the end of that!


I perused recipes on my lunch hour and came across one of my favorite TV Network Stars recipes - Giada De Laurentiis.   Her step by step instructions produced a "perfecto" in her words Polenta!
Her recipe can be found HERE .

This is the final product which I also added 1-1/2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese, because you know, I had to and all...

 
So what is a busy working mom to do I ask?  Make a nice stew of some kind to enhance these amazing pieces of goodness I say!  So I did.  I threw a little bit of this and some of that, and next thing you know, the house was emanating absolutely wonderful aromas and I couldn't wait to dig in!!  Better yet, I had leftovers for lunches, SCORE!!

Ready for this very simple recipe?  Here we go;

Prep time:  20 minutes
Cook time:  45 minutes
Yield: 5-6 servings

Ingredients:
*Polenta* follow the recipe link above 
1-1/2 cups cheddar cheese

*Chicken Stew*
5 chicken thighs
2-1/2 cups diced peppers and onions, (I used frozen)
1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes, with juice
1 can (14.5 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp garlic powder
salt & pepper
1-1/2 cups water

Directions:
-Prepare Polenta using link above, spread on baking sheet to cool.  

-Using a large skillet with lid, add your olive oil, butter and let melt.

-Season your chicken thighs with salt & pepper.

-Add the oil/butter mixture to pan and bring over to medium high heat.  Sear chicken on one side till nicely brown, flip to brown on other side.  

-Lower heat to medium low and add your onions, peppers, un-drained diced tomatoes and sprinkle the garlic powder over the mixture. 

-Semi-cover with lid and let cook for about 10 minutes.  Let's add in our water.  Semi-cover your skillet again and simmer for another 20 minutes.  

-Let's taste for seasonings at this point.  Do we need salt?  Pepper?  We have to be the taste testers I say.  I know, I know.  The sacrifices we make!!

-Let's add in those amazing  black beans.  Let simmer, semi-covered again for another 10 minutes till the beans have melded their amazing flavors with those onions and peppers and warmed thru.  

-Turn off heat and let the chicken sit, covered completely for a few minutes to rest.  

-Serve over that amazing Polenta or side of your choice!!

For as little seasoning as this dish has, it's the natural flavors of the onions and peppers and tomatoes that are the star of this show.  I was literally amazed at how light and bursting with flavor this stew was!!  I hope you try it.  My family absolutely loved it.  I will be recreating it soon let me tell you.  I'm hoping it will be during the day, when I have light so I can show you this baby plated!!  It was a show stopper!!


***Note*** You can always use chicken breasts or tenders, you can reduce the cooking time too.  I just happened to have defrosted chicken thighs, you know for budget reasons and all...


Till next time!!

Dishin with Didi