We rarely have people over for dinner due to the size of our apartment, but sometimes my husband's childhood friend will stop by and I always try to cook a nice dinner for them. However, I've found that I end up getting stuck on stove duty and don't actually get to relax while he's here! This meal is a gem to make because you can prepare most (read: all) of it ahead of time and it tastes amazing! No one will ever know that you were able to prepare a dinner party meal in 60 minutes!
If you plan on serving immediately, I recommend preheating the oven to 200ºF so you can store ingredients there while you finish up the other parts of the meal.
Skill Level: Easy
Time to Make: 60 minutes
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 10-ounce can salsa verde enchilada sauce (or salsa verde)
1 can of chipotles in adobo sauce, divided
2 red bell peppers
1 14.5-ounce can of pinto or black beans
1 can green chilies
1 pint cherry (or grape) tomatoes
1 handful of cilantro
1 serrano or jalapeño pepper, to taste
1/4 cup sour cream
A few tablespoons of heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Cooked rice, for serving
Prep Ingredients: Preheat oven to 200ºF (if desired). Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Chill until ready to use. Thinly slice the scallions. Drain and rinse the beans. Remove of a few tablespoons of the adobo sauce from the can of chipotle peppers and reserve for the chipotle crema. Purée the remaining chipotle peppers and sauce. (Or mince the peppers with a knife). Juice one lime and cut the other lime into wedges for serving. Slice the red bell peppers into strips. Prepare the rice according to package instructions.
Make the Chipotle Crema: In a small bowl, combine the sour cream and enough heavy cream to thin the crema to desired consistency. Whisk until smooth. Note: the crema should be a "drizzling" consistency. Stir in the reserved sauce from the chipotles in adobo sauce until the crema reaches your desired heat level. Season with a touch of salt. You can chill the crema, but you should let it come to room temperature prior to serving.
Make the Salsa: In a food processor, combine the tomatoes, lime juice, cilantro, and as much of the serrano pepper as you'd like. Pulse a few times until the salsa is still a little chunky but well combined. Transfer to a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Chill until ready to use.
Prepare the Chicken: In a pot over medium high heat, add a slick of oil and heat until the oil is shimmering. Add the chicken thighs (in batches if necessary) and cook until golden brown all over. Add all the cooked chicken back to the pot and add the enchilada sauce (or salsa verde) and the remaining puréed chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (to taste, depending on heat level desired). Bring to a boil and reduce heat and cover. Cook for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove each chicken thigh from the pot and transfer to a medium bowl and use two forks to shred the meat. Return to shredded meat to the pot and cook for an additional 15 minutes, uncovered, until the sauce reduces a bit. Taste and season with salt and pepper if desired.
Make the Red Bell Peppers: In a medium skillet, heat a slick of oil over medium high until very hot. Add the bell peppers and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring frequently, until the peppers are soft and beginning to char on the edges. Transfer to an oven safe dish and keep in the warm oven until ready to serve. Return the skillet back to the stove.
Make the Beans: In the same skillet you cooked the red bell peppers in, add the drained beans and cook for 5-7 minutes until warmed through and beginning to crisp up in spots. Add the scallions and cook an additional 2 minutes until fragrant. Stir in the can of green chilies and cook for 5 more minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and transfer to another oven-safe dish. Keep in the oven until everything else is ready.
To Serve: Divide rice between bowls and add a lime wedge to each bowl. Serve the salsa, chicken, beans, and crema family-style, allowing guests to dress their rice bowl how they please. Enjoy!
Designer and photographer living in NYC. I work as a design manager in ed tech and I make tasty recipes in my spare time!