Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Mmmm.... That Looks Gross!

But it tastes good, and that's the most important part of the equation folks. Since my oven here isn't conducive to cooking meat, I've been doing a lot of stove-top cookery (you may have noticed.) The reason my oven isn't up for roasting, baking or broiling is because when it gets too hot (aka is on for more than 25-30 mins) it shuts itself off and does not allow itself to be awakened again until it is ice cold. An oven that gets too hot? I ask you, where is the sense in this country? Anyhow, back to my stove-top adventures...

I like to slow cook meat in sauces frequently if I'm stove-top cooking because that tender, fall-away, juicy deliciousness is just such a perfect exploration of the marriage of flavors be it smokey, sweet or savory. Alas, when you stew meat in a sauce for say, over an hour, it sometimes can start to look a little less than gorgeous. I mean, the meat will taste amazing but it won't be the prom queen. As is the case with a very good recipe I threw together a couple of weeks back. Inspired by the wonderful flavors of Latin cuisine and my insane love of black beans, I made a Chicken Thighs Stewed in a Black Bean Sauce. Oops! Wait, there's no black beans readily available in the UK stores? Oh, well then, how about refried black beans? Okay, I'm sold. It also cuts out the whole washing and cooking of raw black beans; I like any way that reduces the amount of steps it takes to make dinner.

Positives about this dish: flavorful, lots of protein, tender, and juicy.
Negatives about this dish: time is takes, and the whole beans, beans the magical fruit theory...

The sauce that I threw together covered the chicken, but it might have been too much to serve the chicken with. It kind of looked like black bean soup with large hunks of chicken. And a bowl of black bean sauce doesn't exactly look appetizing; I'm warning you so you don't have high expectations of the photograph. I can tell you that what it lacked in presentation it definitely made up for in yummyness. Try it. You may like it. Or at least you'll get rid of your unwanted house guests with your new-found gas issues.

Chicken Thighs Stewed in Black Bean Sauce

12-14 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 12-16 oz can of refried black beans (standard size)
4 oz can of mild green chiles, roasted and chopped
3/4 cup thick salsa
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp garlic paste
pepper to taste

In a hot skillet coated with oil, brown chicken thighs.
In a large pot, cook all other ingredients together and bring to a medium boil, keeping the mixture covered.
When the thighs are browned, transfer them to the large pot and cover them with sauce.
Reduce heat to a low boil, simmer and cover for 2-3 hours.
Remove and serve with rice or over a salad or just as is!

Super easy right? I would make it a Q & E recipe except for the fact that it stews for 3 hours, and even though you're not attending to it, the cooking is not quick. It's just being ignored.

PS. Dear Reader, you know my food doesn't usually look like the above, so don't judge me will ya? I have some beautiful GF pasta I'm waiting to post so don't think I've gone off the deep end on you!

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