Friday, August 31, 2012

Frijol con Pollo (Beans and Chicken). NYC

 Here's a list of the amazing things that happened to me since I arrived in the USA (I omitted the parts that indicate my real job). They are given in chronological order, from oldest to newest:
  1. I landed in NYC. 
  2. I learned how to cook.
  3. I met my husband V. (He didn't immediately realize that it was also amazing meeting me). 
  4. V. realized that it also was amazing meeting me (like 4 months after I was amazed by meeting him.)
  5. I got my degree.
  6. I had my baby.
 There is something in NYC that accelerates personal development, at an abnormal rate. For example, if  you arrive in NYC, let's say, on a business trip, don't be surprised, at all, if you leave like..this. That's just normal.

 NYC has this ability to make people totally comfortable being squeezed in tiny apartments, paying tons of money in rent, and just being so happy about it. I and V. lived in two of these places. We only left the first one after it became the headquarters for the new OCCUPY mice. (The plumber left a hole in the kitchen.)  

 Our horribly small apartments had even smaller kitchens. So… I am the master of cooking in the smallest kitchen. I have always fantasized about creating a competition of cooking in a small kitchen, and me winning it.

 Today's recipe is very healthy. It's my mother-inlaw's recipe. Mexican bean recipes are way much better than Lebanese bean recipes. You'll never see a Lebanese beans recipe posted on this site.

Recipe: Frijol con Pollo (Beans and Chicken)
  • 1lb black beans.
  • 1.5 cup epazote (a plant in any Mexican grocery store, it looks like mint that is starting to go bad. If you can't find it, replace with a mix of fresh parsley, cilantro, and mint).
  • 1 large onion, sliced in large pieces.
  • 1 teaspoon salt.
  • 2 bouillon cubes.
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1lb skinless boneless chicken breast, cut in cubic pieces, each about 1 inch wide.
  • For the sauce: 2 large tomatoes, 1 banana pepper, and 1 small onion, 1 teaspoon salt.
  • For garnish: cilantro, thinly chopped radish, thinly chopped red onion. 
  1. Soak the black beans in warm water  for 5 hours, or overnight.
  2. Boil the beans with the epazote, onion, salt.
  3. When the beans are soft (approximately 3 hours, over medium heat), add the chicken, bouillon cubes, and butter. Cook on medium heat for 1 hour.
  4. For the sauce: Broil the tomatoes, banana pepper, and onion. In a food processor, blend all with the salt.
  5. Serve the beans and chicken on top of rice, then the sauce, then garnish with cilantro, onions, and radish. (Tip: eat with avocados. My husband also serves this as a soup with generous amount of the beans and chicken broth).   

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