Latin Chicken With Black Beans and Sweet Potatoes

Latin Chicken with Black Beans and Sweet Potatoes

This hearty, sweet, and spicy (but not too hot) slow-cooked chicken dish is from the Good Housekeeping Cookbook (125 Anniversary Edition), which is rapidly becoming my favorite cookbook. The recipes I’ve cooked from it tend to be pretty easy, and they don’t call for too many exotic ingredients. Most importantly, the recipes work the first time, without having to change things around or guess at vague instructions (looking at you, Mark Bittman).

This dish has a Latin American flavor, but I wouldn’t call it Mexican at all. I’m not sure what country’s cuisine it’s trying to emulate. The sweet potatoes and the red pepper give a sweetness that contrasts against the hotness from the salsa, and the chicken is falling-apart tender. I served it with rice and tortillas. This would make a great burrito filling too–just shred the chicken into with two forks and remove the bones.

The original recipe calls for a slow cooker, but I don’t have a slow cooker. What I do have is a cast iron dutch oven. Even with a heavy cast iron pot, it would have been tricky to simulate a slow cooker on the stove without burning the bottom, so I put mine in a 250F oven. According to various sources on the Internet, Crockpots are about 200F on Low and 300F on High.

Servings: 6
Time: ~30 minutes prep + 4-8 hours cooking

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds bone-in skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup hot salsa
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, minced or crushed with a press
  • 2 cans (15 oz each) of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, cut into ~2″ chunks
  • 1 roasted red pepper (I got mine from a jar) diced or cut into strips, about 1 cup
  • Cilantro for garnish (optional)

Directions

  1. If using an oven, preheat it to 250F.
  2. Sprinkle chicken thighs with ½ teaspoon cumin, salt, and pepper. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and brown chicken on all sides. Unless your skillet is huge, work in batches. Transfer the browned chicken to a plate and remove the skillet from the heat.
  3. In a 6-quart slow-cooker or dutch oven, combine the beans and sweet potatoes.
  4. In the skillet, combine the remaining cumin, paprika, allspice, chicken broth, salsa, and garlic. Pour this mixture over the beans and sweet potatoes, then place the chicken on top.
  5. If using a slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. If using the oven, cover the dutch oven and put it in the oven for 5+ hours.
  6. With tongs or a slotted spoon, carefully remove the chicken onto a platter. Gently stir the red pepper into the sweet potatoes and beans, and spoon this mixture over the chicken. Serve with rice and/or tortillas. Garnish with the cilantro, if you’re into that kind of thing.
Latin Chicken with Black Beans and Sweet Potatoes in the Pot

After a few hours in the oven, the chicken is tender and the sweet potatoes are soft.

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