Tag Archives: black beans

Mexican Pulled Chicken With Black Beans And Chipotle

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What will endear you to this recipe is its versatility to be served several different ways. I have three different meals that I tend to make from this one chicken recipe.

There’s the obvious way – served with rice. My pick is often with black rice (which isn’t black once cooked but rather a deep purple and the more wholesome of the choices). Of course it’s absolutely delicious with both brown and white as well. Any steamed green will add good balance here.

On other occasions it’s soft tacos. The pulled chicken piled into a soft tortilla and adorned with guacamole, sour cream and something green, be it coriander, spinach, or crisp iceberg lettuce. Now that’s a meal my children LOVE.

Both of those meals tend to leave me with left overs, so what better meal to turn the remainder chicken into than soup!

An easy option for soup using the leftovers: Cook diced celery and carrot slowly till soft, add vegetable or chicken stock, add a large spoon of the pulled chicken – beans and sauce included – and possibly some more tinned tomatoes, simmer it gently, eat it lovingly.

 

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Don’t be daunted here, you prepare pulled chicken in much the same way as you prepare pulled pork, pulled beef, and pulled lamb. The simple method of using two forks to gently pull apart the tender meat is effortless when the meat has been cooked long and slow.

Here, whole chicken thigh fillets are braised in a Mexican flavoured sauce of tomatoes, spices, and chipotle chilli, and finished with grated chocolate, in much the same way as Mexican mole would be (but far easier). The chicken is then ‘pulled’ before going back in the sauce.

Although the amount of  chocolate used is small it must be of a high cocoa content – the sweet stuff won’t do. I use chocolate made with 70% cocoa beans. The sauce takes on a richer taste with a subtle earthiness that matches gracefully with the black beans.

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Mexican pulled chicken with black beans and chipotle 

Ingredients 

700g free range chicken thigh fillet 

2 medium brown onions, sliced thinly

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tsp dried oregano

2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

3/4 cup chicken stock

2 chipotle chillies in adobo sauce, chopped – see note

400g can whole peeled tomatoes

2 tbsp grated 70% cocoa chocolate

1/2 tbsp brown sugar

400g can black beans, drained and rinsed

Olive oil

To serve

Steamed rice ( black, brown or white)

Mashed avocado

sour cream

chopped coriander 

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 1tbsp of olive oil in a heavy based pan with tight fitting lid, seal the chicken till lightly coloured on all sides.  Remove chicken and set aside.

Using the same pan (no need to wash it) heat another tbsp oil and cook the onions and garlic gently for 3 minutes. Add the oregano, cumin and cinnamon and stir till fragrant.

Place the chicken back in the pan, add the stock and chipotle chillies, and squeeze the tomatoes to break apart before adding to the sauce. Bring to the boil, cover with a lid, turn the heat to low and simmer gently for 45 minutes.

Remove the chicken and place in a flat tray. Using two forks pull the chicken into thin strips. Set aside.

Meanwhile, place the sauce back on the heat, add the chocolate, sugar and black beans and simmer for 15 minutes.

Place the pulled chicken back in the sauce, check the seasoning and serve with rice, avocado, chopped coriander and sour cream.

Note: Chipotle chillies in adobo sauce can be found in most green grocers, some Asian stores, delicatessens, or even order them on line. Once opened, store them in a air tight container in the fridge and use within three weeks. or try them in this great relish .

 

 

 

Roast Pumpkin, Black Bean and Halloumi Fritters

 

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Most of you would be familiar with the combination of roasted pumpkin and halloumi cheese, you’ve probably seen it on numerous cafe menus. But did you know how brilliantly these two ingredients combine with black beans for a vegetarian fritter out of this world?

I have this thing with black beans at the moment – don’t you?

I keep finding ways to use them in place of some of the other more common pulses like chickpeas and kidney beans. And I reckon they are perfect in these vegetarian fritters. 

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I prefer to plan ahead and use dried black beans because they taste better. And unlike the canned variety they aren’t as mushy. But I guess if you were short on time and needed black beans fast you could use a can of pre cooked black beans, plenty of stores are stocking them now. 

 

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One of the common mistakes with fritters is not having them bind together properly, then they fall apart in the pan as they cook. This is not the case with these fritters. Roasting the pumpkin helps dry it out, and the halloumi cheese with its delightful salty taste and familiar squeaky texture adds a necessary firmness. This is also achieved by the addition of egg and chickpea flour to bind it all together.

So what’s the best way to serve these fritters? There’s several options: In a burger. Broken up and rolled into a wrap. You might eat them with salad or steamed vegetables. There’s so many ways to enjoy them.

But of all these ways, I highly recommend eating them with a squirt of hot chilli sauce, a dollop of sour cream, and a squeeze of fresh lime. Oh, and don’t forget the mild pickled peppers.

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Roast pumpkin, black bean and halloumi fritters 

Makes about 10 large fritters

Ingredients 

1 cup dried black beans

350g peeled  butternut pumpkin, cut into 4cm chunks 

250g halloumi cheese, cut or torn into pieces 

1 cup washed and picked parsley leaves 

1 tsp hot smoked paprika

 Sea salt

White pepper

1 free range egg

chickpea (besan) flour

1/4 cup sesame seeds 

 Rice bran oil for frying

To serve:

Lime – juice and wedges

Hot chilli sauce

Sour cream 

1-2 fresh chillies, deseeded and sliced

Mild pickled peppers 

Place the beans in a bowl, cover them with cold water and soak for 12 hours or over night.

The following day, pre heat oven to 180C. Drizzle the cut pumpkin with oil, season with salt and pepper and roast for about 45 minutes, or till soft, set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, drain the pre soaked black beans, place in a medium sized pot, cover with water and cook till just soft (about 25-30 minutes). Drain and rinse briefly under cold water. Take 1/2 cup of the cooked black beans and set aside for garnishing.

Place the roasted pumpkin, torn haloumi cheese, picked parsley and smoked paprika in a food processor, blitz till just combined. Transfer mixture to a large bowl.

Place the remaining cooked black beans (minus the 1/2 cup) in the food processor and lightly blitz, till the beans are broken up but still chunky.

Add the beans to the pumpkin mix. Add the egg and 1/4 cup chickpea flour. Mix till well combined.

Place 1/3 cup chickpea flour and 1/4 cup sesame seeds in a flat tray. Shape the fritters in to 10 rounds and dust each fritter in the flour and sesame seeds. Set aside.

Heat a large non stick fry pan with a shallow covering of rice bran oil, cook the fritters in two batches, on a low heat till golden on both sides. Repeat with remaining fritters.

Take the reserved 1/2 cup of black beans and season them with chopped fresh chilli, lime juice and sesame oil.

You can serve the fritters on a platter, scatter with the reserved black beans, pickled mild peppers and serve with sour cream and chilli sauce.