Sunday, January 18, 2009

First Crockpot, Then Beans, Next...The World

Slow Cooker Tex Mex Chicken and Beans

Crockpot recipes are the most popular thing on my blog: I get more emails and comments about them than anything else I post about. I can only assume it's because other people have the same love/hate relationship with their crockpots that I do: the idea of coming home after a long day at work to a warm meal that's all ready to go is immensely appealing, but so often slow cooker recipes don't live up to expectations and turn out dry, overcooked, and flavorless. This is why it's a big event around here when I discover a new slow cooker recipe that does live up to its promises...and do you what makes this particular recipe an even bigger event? Not only did I get to use my crockpot, but it's also the first time I've successfully cooked with dry (read: not canned) beans! I've been wanting to tackle dry beans in my kitchen for a long time, but have always been daunted by the amount of time they take. This recipe is a great start if you're like me, and trying dried beans for the first time (if you're already comfortable cooking with dried beans, it's still good!): everything cooks together in one pot, and doesn't require any babysitting. In addition to being ridiculously simple, it also tastes fantastic: chicken and pinto beans in a creamy, stew-like sauce that's great on its own, but even better wrapped in warm tortillas or spooned over rice. As with most slow cooker recipes, the cooking time may vary a little based on the size and model of your crockpot, so you might want to give this a test run when you're around the house the first time, just to make sure everything is done properly. Now that we've conquered crockpots and beans, there's no limit to what we can accomplish! Hooray!


Tracy said...

I rarely have good luck with the crock pot either. But I've had better luck with chicken thighs than chicken breasts. I'll have to try that one.

Elisabeth said...

Tracy, I use thighs exclusively in the crockpot now. Chicken breasts just don't work for me at all. I think you'd like this!

happygal said...

I made this one this week, Liz. It was liked by all (even picky Caleb) and you were right, it was my first success with dry beans as well! Thanks!


Elisabeth said...

Wow, if Caleb liked must be really fantastic. I'm glad it got his seal of approval! :)