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Ancho Chicken Breast with Black Beans, Bell Peppers & Scallions
Karen Ansel, M.S., R.D.N.
“In this healthy chicken recipe, the meat is rubbed with ancho chile powder, a spice made from dried poblano peppers. It adds mild heat and subtle smokiness to the rub on the chicken, but you can use regular chili powder here instead. This recipe makes an extra ½ cup of the black bean mash—try it wrapped into a burrito for lunch or as a taco filling (see Tips, below).”
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 (15 ounce) cans low-sodium black beans, rinsed
Juice of 1 lime
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Chicken & Vegetables
16 scallions, trimmed
3 medium red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch strips
1½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus 2 teaspoons, divided
1To prepare beans: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cumin seeds; cook, stirring, until fragrant and starting to brown, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir in beans, lime juice and ¼ teaspoon salt and cook until hot, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and mash with a potato masher until mostly smooth. Refrigerate ½ cup of the mashed beans for another use (see Tips, below). Cover the remaining beans to keep warm.
2To prepare chicken & vegetables: Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler to high. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
3Toss scallions and bell peppers in a large bowl with 1½ tablespoons oil and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Broil, stirring twice, until the vegetables are charred, 8 to 12 minutes.
4Meanwhile, place chicken between 2 large pieces of plastic wrap. Pound with the smooth side of a meat mallet or a heavy saucepan to an even ½-inch thickness. Combine chile powder, cinnamon, cocoa, brown sugar and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Brush both sides of the chicken with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and coat both sides with the spice mixture.
5Coat a large grill pan or skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and add half the chicken. Cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 165°F, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Repeat with the remaining chicken, reducing the heat if necessary.
6Place about ⅔ cup of the beans on each of 4 dinner plates and top each portion with scallions, bell peppers and chicken.
Tips: Ancho chiles—dried poblano peppers—are one of the most popular dried chiles used in Mexico; ancho chile powder has a mild, sweet spicy flavor. Look for it with specialty spices in large supermarkets or Mexican grocers.
Turn leftovers into black bean tacos for lunch: Spread the ½ cup leftover beans on 2 corn tortillas. Top each taco with ¼ cup each chopped romaine lettuce and tomato, 1 Tbsp. each shredded Cheddar cheese and tomato salsa and a squeeze of lime juice. Serves 1.