chicken and apple salsa with black beans and rice

Boy that title’s a mouthful, isn’t it? I love recipes like this because my meat and sides are all wrapped into one dish. It’s mindless. And delicious. Add in a rotisserie chicken (white meat only for me, please) and I have a perfect weeknight meal.

I actually somewhat expected this recipe to be a dud. There seemed to be a lot going on – and while I love black beans and rice, how exciting can they be? It turns out, with an apple salsa on top and a little work put into them, black beans can be pretty dang good.

Full disclosure: I never, ever buy or use cilantro. Neither of us love it so I leave it out of every recipe.

Black Beans and Rice with Chicken and Apple Salsa
Adapted from Bon Appetit, January 2012 via Our Best Bites 

1 cup chopped peeled Granny Smith apple
1/4 cup chopped cilantro, divided
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion, divided
2 limes
1/3 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
3/4 teaspoons coriander
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 13.5 ounce can chicken broth
2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups cooked brown or white rice
1 rotisserie chicken, or 4 grilled chicken breasts
4-6 lime wedges

Combine apple, cilantro, 2 tablespoons onion, and the juice from half a lime.  Sprinkle with a little kosher salt and black pepper.  Set aside.

Combine remaining onion, bell pepper, and oil in a large skillet.  Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until completely softened, 6-7 minutes.  Add garlic and next 3 ingredients; stir constantly for 2 minutes.  Stir in broth and beans; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium; simmer briskly, mashing some of the beans with the back of a spoon and stirring often, until sauce is thickened, 8-10 minutes (or longer if needed).  Season with salt and pepper to taste and a big squeeze of lime juice.  Divide rice and beans among plates.  Top with some chicken and apple salsa.  Garnish with additional cilantro and lime wedges.  Serves 4-6.

Adding this one to the regular rotation,
jcristg

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