Saturday, May 19, 2012

Black Beans and Rice with Chicken and Apple Salsa

Recipe #92:
Whew! This recipe title is really long, but don't let that deter you from trying it. The first 7 times I looked at this recipe, I got tired just thinking about how much work it would be. My brain said, "Oh, there's about 4 different parts to this one - WAY too much work!", but eventually, I figured I would give it a shot.

As usual, my version had a couple of variations:
-I used up the bit of red onion that I had on hand from a previous recipe, but it wasn't exactly 1/3 cup. It was more like 1/3 of an onion. I didn't put any of it in the salsa because raw onion is beyond disgusting so it all went in with the beans.
-We didn't have any green bell pepper so I used up the approx. 1/3 of an orange pepper that I already had.
-Our garlic was getting a little long in the tooth so I used about 6 cloves of it to make up for the age factor.
-It turned out we didn't actually have any chili pepper so I used paprika instead.
-The broth was a mash-up of chicken and vegetable broth: about half and half. I intended to use up the beef broth I had in the fridge, but nixed that idea after a cursory sniff. Did you know broth can go mouldy?
-The cans of beans were 19 oz, not 15 oz. The more, the merrier!
-No kosher salt in this house. In fact, I'm not even sure if I added any salt, now that I think about it...
-The rice was mostly a mixture of wild & brown rice that I bought at a bulk food store with the remainder made up of brown jasmine rice (about 1/4 cup?).
-I'm too cheap for rotisserie chicken so I just bought two boneless, skinless chicken breasts and cooked them in a frying pan.
-I didn't use any lime wedges for garnish, just half a lime worth of juice in the salsa and a bit in the bean mixture.

Each section was pretty ok to do, but as usual, I tend to struggle with juggling more than one section at once. The rice was fine - I cooked it in the microwave for the first time with better success than I've had cooking it on the stove. The chicken was easy, as long as I kept an eye on it. The only issue I had with the salsa was trying to convince the stupid cilantro to stay in the bowl with the apple and stop sticking to my spoon/hand/counter/bowl instead. Rather infuriating, actually. I kept finding cilantro everywhere. I had trouble getting the bean mixture to thicken so I ended up having to drain off some of the liquid even after allowing extra time for it to boil off. Mashing more beans didn't even seem to help. The final result was acceptable, but it did take longer than expected so keep that in mind if it happens to you.

In the end, I was pleased with the result, and doubly pleased when the Meatatarian announced that he liked it (completely unprompted by me). It's always a bit of a gamble to get him to eat meatless dishes, but he was quite keen on this one. The different flavours of the different parts of the meal seemed to compliment one another well. I was pleased to be eating the leftovers the next day.


  1. You kill me ;)

    Amanda P

  2. Chicken is meat. Just sayin'.

  3. In Alberta, cows are king and chicken isn't meat (for some).