Slow Cooker Chicken Azteca
Chicken Azteca is a satisfying dish in which chicken breasts are covered with traditional Southwestern-style ingredients such as salsa, corn, black beans, green chilies, garlic and cumin. About thirty minutes prior to serving, cubes of cream cheese are added to the sauce and allowed to melt, forming a deliciously creamy sauce. Chicken Azteca may be served over rice and topped off with shredded Cheddar cheese, if desired.
As I mentioned in a previous post, Slow Cooker Cranberry Pork Roast, a good way to keep the heat down in the kitchen in the summertime is to utilize a slow cooker or Crock Pot. This week in Charlotte has been exceedingly hot, in fact it feels like a blow dryer on high heat when I walk out the door, so I was grateful to have this recipe in my file box to pull out and prepare for supper one night.
Cream cheese just adds a wonderful creaminess to any dish! If you are watching your fat intake, you may substitute reduced-fat cream cheese in this recipe. The green chilies I used were “mild” but feel free to kick the heat up a notch if you so desire. (I’m a wimp when it comes to “spicy hot” food!) I used fresh corn in this recipe because I had some on hand but you could use frozen or even canned corn with successful results.
I always rinse and drain black beans before adding them to any recipe. Salsa is mixed with the vegetables and placed in the slow cooker, then the chicken breasts are added and additional salsa spooned over the top of the chicken. This recipe specified chopping the chicken before serving but I preferred to leave the chicken breasts intact to be able to serve an entire chicken breast to each person. This is a nice option though in case an additional person showed up for supper the chicken could be chopped up to make it go further!
Chicken Azteca – The Recipe
- 1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed & drained
- 2 cups corn kernels (fresh, frozen or canned)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1-2 cups salsa, divided
- 1 4-oz. can mild diced green chilies
- 5 boneless chicken breasts
- 1 8-oz. package cream cheese, cubed (may use reduced-fat version)
- Cooked Rice
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- Combine beans, corn, garlic, cumin, green chilies and half of salsa in slow cooker.
- Arrange chicken breasts over top. Pour remaining salsa over top of chicken.
- Cover. Cook on high 2-3 hours or low 4-6 hours.
- Remove chicken and cut into bite-sized pieces. Return to cooker.
- Stir in cream cheese. Cook on high until cream cheese melts.
- Spoon chicken and sauce over cooked rice. Top with shredded cheese, if desired.
- Chicken breasts may be left whole instead of chopping them up - your choice.
Just a few words about black beans are in order. Recent research has shown that black beans provide special support for digestive tract health. Black beans are a good source of fiber and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. With a low glycemic index, black beans have about 114 calories per 1/2 cup serving. Black beans are also called turtle beans and are a staple in the cuisines of Mexico, Brazil, Cuba, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic.
Another great fact about black beans is that there is little difference in the nutritional value of canned black beans and those that you cook yourself from the dried state. If canned black beans are more convenient then use them.
Try this recipe soon – I know you’ll enjoy the creamy sauce with the Southwestern flavors with chicken!
Beat the heat by using your slow cooker this summer!
Remember to Savor the Flavor!
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