A pot of chicken and black beans hits the spot any time of year. This hearty dish is so versatile, it’s great for entertaining or for a casual one-pot weeknight meal. Browning the chicken and adding a ham hock to the pot gives the recipe its rich, complex flavors. For a build-your-own experience, serve with corn tortillas, avocado slices and steamed rice, passing lime wedges, cilantro and hot sauce at the table. — Andrew Zimmern
1 pound dried black beans
6 chicken legs
6 chicken thighs
1 smoked ham hock
1 1/2 quarts chicken stock
2 cups canned tomato puree
2 fresh bay leaves
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 poblano pepper, diced
2 diced yellow onions
2 ribs diced celery
4 tablespoons minced cilantro
1 minced hot chile (I like serranos)
6 cloves sliced garlic
3 tablespoons chile powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
Tortillas, cilantro, steamed rice and lime wedges, to serve
Servings: 8 to 10
Total Time: 3 hrs, plus overnight soaking
Soak the beans in a bowl of cool water and let sit overnight in the fridge, drain well.
Pour the oil into a large pot over medium heat. Brown the chicken and reserve to the fridge.
Add the ham hock, peppers, onions, celery, hot pepper and garlic to the same pot you browned the chicken in. Sauté until onions are translucent, 5 to 10 minutes, then add the fresh and dry herbs. Sauté for a few minutes more.
Add the beans, tomatoes and stock in to the pot. Bring to a simmer and cook for one hour.
Add the chicken pieces. Continue to simmer until the beans are tender, 60 to 90 minutes more, stirring frequently and adding more stock if needed (but remember you are not making soup!).
Season with sea salt and fresh lime juice.
Serve with steamed rice, tortillas, chopped cilantro and avocado slices.
For more great recipes from Andrew Zimmern, visit his website.