Friday, June 17, 2011

Black Bean and Corn Chicken Bake

Have you ever tried mexican crema? If you haven't, I highly suggest you get in your car or on your bike (or whatever your mode of transportation is) and go to the market and buy some. I stumbled upon crema on accident. I was looking for some queso fresco (which I never had but heard of) for some tacos I was making. It was really expensive at my local grocery store and I didn't buy it. I happened to be at Costco later that day and they were selling two queso fresco wheels for the same price of just one at the other grocery store.

I hemmed and hawed about whether I should buy it as I stood in front of the cheese case making everyone in the aisle angry (I'm sure). I mean I had a near 18-month old screaming (in absolute delight) at the top of her lungs at the front of the cart (so high-pitched people have stopped me and said they think she might become an opera singer) and a four-year old launching off the back of the cart and rolling on the ground in an apparent new gymnastic move just learned that day.

So, I bought it. It was creamy and delicious. And disappeared way too fast. So when I saw crema a week later at my local market, I had to try it and you know what? It's even better than the queso fresco. It's thick and luscious -- not at all like the poor excuse of sour cream I am used to. Seriously. Leave now. Buy some mexican crema. And make this.

Black Bean and Corn Chicken Bake 

Easy and delicious, this mexican casserole is a south-of-the border spiced dish loaded with pieces of chicken, corn, black beans, cheese, tortilla chips and of course, topped with crema.


2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts  or 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups frozen or fresh sweet corn
1/4 cup salsa verde
2 cups Mexican blend cheese
2 cups slightly crushed tortilla chips
Salt, to taste
Mexican crema, for dolloping


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Measure chili powder through salt together in a bowl. Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion and cook until soft. Season with salt. Add garlic; allow to cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink. Add the taco seasoning, black beans, corn and salsa and a touch of water. 

Cover skillet and simmer for roughly ten minutes.

Transfer chicken mixture to a baking dish and cover with 1 cup of cheese and the tortilla chips.

Bake for 15 minutes. Add the remaining 1 cup of cheese and bake until the cheese is melted. Serve each portion with a dollup of mexican crema.

Absolutely delicious!

P.S. This post has been linked to the following blog hops:

1 comment:

  1. Wow. That looks so good. I never had crema. Think I might now.


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