When it comes to the wondrous world of soups and stews, I have to confess that I am a bit of a fan. Not as big as I am of salads (which is my favorite dish….to many peoples’ chagrin), but I find a good bowl of soup to be not only comforting, but also filling.
Although I live in Florida, I still remember the days of coming in from the brisk (read: freezing) winter weather of Pittsburgh and smelling the heady scents of a good hearty soup made with love by mom. Those memories still bring a smile to my face.
Now I have many soups that I make on a regular basis, and will share some of those throughout this winter here on the site. But one that I have made that I absolutely love (and is cheap and easy) is my Black Bean Chicken Chili.
The below recipe is for a quick version, but if you are a purest (like me….some of the time) use dried black beans. I think their flavor and bite is something special. Also, this recipe should feed a family of 4 with leftovers. I like to use the leftovers for other dishes, but more about that later!
Let’s go shopping!
*4 Cans of Black Beans
*3 Chicken Stock Cubes
*1 Can Diced Tomatoes
*3 Large Chicken Breasts
*2 Large White Onion
*3 Cloves of Garlic
*1 Teaspoon of Oregano
*1 – 1.5 Tablespoon(s) of Garlic Salt
*Fresh Ground Pepper to Taste
*1 Cup Water (more depending on the consistency)
*1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese
*1/2 Cup Sour Cream (and a bit extra to garnish)
First, let’s cook the chicken. I suggest grilling the chicken in the oven as it will be the quickest way of doing so. Cut each breast in half, rub a little olive oil on them and then pop them on a cookie sheet and into the over at 420 degrees for about 20 minutes (more or less depending on the thickness of the breasts). When they are fully, not over, cooked – take them out and leave them to the side to cool a little.
Get a sauté pan and heat some olive oil. Mince the onion and garlic and toss it into the pan. Cook for about 4-5 minutes stirring constantly. You can add a little more oil or even water if needed. You want the garlic to brown a little and the onion to be translucent.
Now onto the beans. Open and rinse the beans and add them to a pot large enough to handle all of the ingredients. Add the water, garlic salt, oregano, pepper, onion, garlic and tomatoes to the pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
While all of those ingredients start to mingle, grab your blender/food processor and pop in the chicken and mince. If you don’t have an appliance, you will have to mince by hand. The final product should look like shredded cheese (and in this case, shredded chicken).
Pop the chicken, parm and sour cream in the pot and stir until it is fully incorporated. Once the chicken is in, I would not cook it any longer than 5 minutes as the chicken could get tough and the cheese could burn. I like to let it stand off of the heat for about 5 minutes before serving so that it will thicken slightly.
Them ladle into bowls and top with a dollop of sour cream. Presto! The whole process should take around 30 minutes or so.
Now….what to do with the leftovers (if there is any). I LOVE LOVE LOVE to take the refrigerated mixture (which hardens even more) and a spoonful to a tortilla wrap and add some fresh chopped tomatoes and lettuce for a quick lunch or even a dollop on the side of a main dish. Any way you do it – this one is a winner!