Sunday, June 19, 2011

One chicken, one goal

So I bought a 5 dollar chicken from Trader Joes. My goal for this chicken? See how much I can get out of it :) Today I took it apart, removed the thighs, legs, and wings. I took off one breast for Black Bean and Chicken Salsa Soup. Again stolen from A Year of Slow cooking

--1 pound chicken (I used frozen breast tenderloins) 
--1 cup dried black beans (or 2 cans, drained and rinsed)

--4 cups chicken broth 
--1 cup sliced mushrooms

--1 cup frozen corn 
--1 jar prepared salsa (16 oz)

--1 1/2 tsp cumin 
--1/2 cup sour cream (to stir in at the end)
--shredded cheddar cheese, avocado slices, cilantro (all optional)

updated 12/15: 
Pace salsa is pictured in the ingredients. Pace, and many Campbells products are now no longer being classified as "gluten free"---please read all labels and use your best judgment when making choices to feed your family. You can read a discussion about the labeling, here.
The Directions.

You will need a 4 quart or larger.

If you know you are going to make this the night before (yay for meal planning!) soak the blackbeans in enough water to cover and another 2 inches overnight. In the morning, drain the water and rinse the beans.

If you don't have super hard water or live in a super high altitude, you can quick soak the beans by pouring boiling water over them and let them sit for an hour or two. I did an hour, but 2 would really be better if you have the time. 

Drain and rinse the beans.
 Add to the crockpot. Put in the chicken, and add the broth and salsa. Pour in the corn and mushrooms, and add the cumin. Stir, but don't disturb the beans---let them stay at the bottom of the pot, closest to the heating element.

Cover and cook on high for 9 hours. Yup. High. For 9 hours. It took a crazy long time for the beans to soften, but they did. 

If you are using beans you soaked overnight, canned beans, or pre-cooked beans, you can cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 4-5--similar to normal soup-cooking time.

If you'd like to thicken the broth (I did this), you can use your immersible blender (I love that thing) to blend a bit of the beans and chicken. If you don't have one, scoop out 2 cups of the soup and carefully blend in your traditonal blender. Stir the mixture back into the crockpot.

Stir in the 1/2 cup of sour cream before serving, and garnish with shredded cheese and avocado slices.

I dont think I used a full pound. But One breast down, lets see how many meals come from this :)

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