I love to cook – it’s almost a kind of creative release when I step into the kitchen. I rarely plan too far beyond a core ingredient (generally protein) and never really know what’s going to happen until I check out what veggies and flavour boosters are in the fridge.
This is basically how I bring recipes together to share with you. I put together a combination of flavours in a first run and if I think it is up to a ‘Well Nourished’ standard, I scribble it on a piece of paper and come back to it another day for a formal trial run (and hope I can find that piece of paper – I really need a better system).
My aim with every recipe is obviously to make it as delicious and nourishing as possible (and also simple to make). In my household, it doesn’t matter how ‘healthy’ a meal is, if it doesn’t taste good, then no ones happy (kids because they don’t like it, hubby and I because they are complaining, food’s going to waste and we don’t want it for the lunch the next day because we aren’t really enjoying it also)!!
But I digress – back to this recipe for Creamy Mexican Chicken which simply ticks all the boxes. Delicious, nutritious, tasty as anything and SO quick and easy to make. There are no complaints when this is on the menu!
Take a look at the variations (below the main recipe) for suggestions to alter the recipe to suit many specific dietary requirements (including vegan).
- 500 g boneless and skinless chicken thighs -roughly diced (or drumsticks)
- 2 clove/s garlic -finely chopped
- 400 g diced tinned tomatoes
- 1-2 chipotle in adobe sauce *see note below
- 70 g raw almonds (½ cup)
- 3 stick/s celery -roughly chopped
- 120 ml chicken stock or bone broth (½ cup)
- 1 tsp sea salt - or to taste
- 400 g can black beans -drained and rinsed (or 1 cup cooked black beans)
- 1 bunch/s fresh coriander leaves -finely chopped
- 2 avocado/s -peeled and flesh removed
- 1 lime/s (small) - juice
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper -to taste
- * Note - Chipotle in Adobe sauce are available in most big supermarkets or gourmet delis. They are the flavour hero of this dish and give it a little heat and a beautiful smokey flavour (obviously the more you add the spicier it becomes - 1 chili pepper is still mild, 2 chili peppers add a tiny amount of heat). Once you've opened the can, store leftovers in an airtight glass jar in the fridge. They last forever this way and trust me, you will make this meal again! If you happen to have the paste (so no visible chili peppers), then 1tsp is about the same as 1 chipotle chilli.
- If you don't have chipotle you can sub with a heaped teaspoon of cumin and smokey paprika. This option will have no heat at all. If you only use just one chipotle, perhaps add ½ teaspoon of cumin and smokey paprika too.
- Place the garlic, tomatoes, chipotle, almonds, celery, stock and sea salt in a food processor or high speed blender and process until smooth. TMX 1 minute, speed 7.
- Put your chicken thighs into a large pot with the black beans and sauce, cover and simmer over a low to moderate heat for approx. 30 minutes. TMX add the chicken and black beans to the sauce and cook 30 minutes, temp 90, reverse lowest speed.
- To make the guacamole, mash the avocado and mix with the lime juice and seasoning.
- Once the chicken is cooked, mix through the coriander and serve with the guacamole (and any of the suggestions below).
- with a slaw or simple salad (here I've served it with shredded cabbage, mint, shallots and grated carrot tossed in the juice of one lime)
- with rice or quinoa (a good choice for corn-free)
- as a sauce for nachos in tacos or tortilla wraps if your not dairy-free, my family love a dollop of sour cream too
- Re-heat in a pot over a low heat until just hot.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Can also be frozen.