Here, beans are used to bulk up a simple Southwestern stew to help a little bit of chicken go a long way. Since we skipped the step of browning the meat first on the stovetop, we opted for skinless pieces; the skin doesn't take on any caramelization in the slow cooker, and the resulting texture could compromise the appeal of your finished dish.
Technique tip: To quick soak dried beans: Cover them in a large saucepan with water. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, for 1 hour; drain.
- 1 cup dried pinto beans, rinsed
- One 11-ounce jar mild or medium salsa (1½ cups)
- 2 tablespoons chopped chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup water
- 1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 8)
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- Sour cream, finely chopped jalapeño, hot sauce, and tortilla strips or chips, for serving
1. Place beans in a large bowl; cover with water by several inches. Refrigerate, covered, overnight; drain.
2. Preheat a 5-to 6-quart slow cooker.
3. Place beans, salsa, chiles, flour, and the water in the slow cooker; stir to combine. Season chicken with salt and pepper; arrange on top of bean mixture. Scatter onion and bell pepper on top of chicken. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours (or on high for 4 hours).
4. Transfer chicken from slow cooker to a large plate. Using two forks, shred chicken into large pieces; return to stew. Serve with sour cream, jalapeño, hot sauce and tortilla strips.
Reprinted with permission of Martha Stewart's Slow Cooker: 110 Recipes for Flavorful, Foolproof Dishes (Including Desserts!), Plus Test-Kitchen Tips and Strategies by Editors of Martha Stewart Living, Clarkson Potter. Copyright © 2017.