Where does the time go? My kids are not babies anymore, I’ve been married for almost 20 years, and just last week, I realized that it was almost lunchtime and I had forgotten to put the chicken into the crockpot. Yes, time flies after breakfast. And when you’re happily married, raising kids, and all that.
I have no advice on keeping time from moving so quickly. I can, however, give you an idea for a quick meal for when you haven’t managed to prepare anything in advance. It all starts with frozen chicken. This is because not only did you not start lunch or dinner on time, you also forgot to thaw the chicken. For all of you perpetually prepared people out there, don’t worry – thawed chicken will also work in this recipe. For the rest of us, we rejoice in the fact that frozen chicken and a cold crock pot does not prevent us from putting a great meal on the table in a short amount of time.
This recipe is a result of me realizing at 11:30 one whirlwind morning that while I had been planning to serve Chicken Tacos for lunch that day, not only was the chicken still frozen, I didn’t have any tortillas prepared or purchased. Without thinking too hard, I chucked the frozen chicken into a saucepan on the stove, dumped on salsa, and hoped for the best. I covered the pan and turned the heat on low. Within an hour, my chicken thawed, cooked in delicious salsa flavors, and was ready for lunch - which we had with chips instead of tortillas. It turned out so delicious, I decided we would make it this way again and again. This recipe turned out to be a “six out of six” which means that all six of our family members loved this. A brainless, effortless, healthy recipe that we all liked? Score!
Black Bean Chicken Nachos
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups salsa
2 cups cooked black beans (or one can of prepared beans, if you’ve – you know - not remembered to soak and cook them ahead of time while you were busy not thawing your chicken…)
tortilla chips, cheese, sour cream, tomatoes, and other nacho toppings of your choice
Place chicken and salsa in a medium-sized saucepan. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes (if chicken is thawed) or 45-50 minutes (if chicken is frozen). Use a fork and knife to shred chicken and stir it back into the salsa. Stir in black beans, and continue cooking until beans are hot – about five minutes more. Serve with shredded cheese and other nacho toppings of your choice. Scoop up Black Bean Chicken nachos with tortilla chips and congratulate yourself for throwing together such a wonderful meal with such minimal effort.
Then, before you forget, get out the meat for tomorrow’s meals so it can be thawed and ready to use. Not being prepared certainly worked for this recipe, but let’s not push it.