Friday, January 23, 2009

Mexican Chicken Salad

This recipe is from my boyfriend – inspired by a salad he saw in Dean and DeLuca. The Mexican moniker refers to the black beans which are high in dietary fiber and antioxidants. Also known as turtle beans, these legumes are widely eaten in Latin America and are key ingredients in the Costa Rican national dish gallo pinto and the Brazilian national dish feijoada. This chicken salad is fairly healthy – low in carbohydrates and high in flavor, especially when served with salsa or the yogurt sauce featured in this posting. It’s part of our monthly dinner rotation and holds up pretty well for up to five days.

Serves 8-10 as a side dish and 4-6 as a main dish

6 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons garlic paste or 4 cloves minced garlic
1 lb fresh chicken cutlets or breasts (preferably thin slice), cut into 3/4 inch pieces
15 ounces canned black beans, rinsed
1 can artichoke hearts, rinsed and coarsely chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon basil flakes
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
salt and pepper, to taste
1. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil on medium. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Add chicken pieces and cook on both sides until the outside of the pieces are cooked. Cut a couple of thicker pieces to make sure they are no longer pink inside. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl mix black beans, artichoke, bell pepper and chicken.
3. Drizzle with remaining olive oil, parsley, oregano, basil and cayenne. Mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Best made a day before serving so the flavors can mingle.
5. Can be served with salsa or yogurt sauce.

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