Recipe: Chili Roasted Chicken with Black Bean Farro and Chili Crema

Admittedly enough, it all started with an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (my secret guilty pleasure). We were practically drooling over a Mexican joint known for their fiery, authentic dishes and that led to a craving for a hearty meal steeped in south-of-the-boarder flavors.

Instead of keeping it 100% classic, we opted for a slight deviation and swapped out the rice for farro, a substitution that made the whole meal heartier and perfect for a chilly night. Ironically enough, the star of the dish was not the chicken or the rice and beans, it was the chili sauce, the constant thread that tied it all together. Robust and warm with spice, it made its appearance in every component of the dish but in different capacities. With the farro and beans it was accompanied by some tomato paste to stretch it out and make it richer. It also made for a terrific marinade for the chicken, forming a nice, spicy crust when roasted. Finally, the chili sauce made its way into some sour cream to create a cooling, yet still spice-kissed crema. The dish was plated and dotted with fresh cilantro leaves and splashed with fresh lime juice, just before serving.

This dish quickly became a favorite; spicy, hearty and balanced by the different textures and flavors and it totally hit the spot.

Chili Roasted Chicken with Black Bean Farro and Chili Crema 
Serves 2-3, comfortably

- 2 chicken breasts, trimmed of visible fat
- Chili Sauce (Recipe follows)
- Olive oil, for drizzling
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 cup Farro
- 2 small bay leaves
- 2 TBS tomato paste
- 1 can black beans, drained
- Salt to taste
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- Cilantro Leaves to garnish
- The juice of 1/2 a lime

Preheat oven to 400. In a small bowl, marinate the chicken in just enough chili sauce to coat it evenly. Set aside. Reserve the rest of the sauce for later use. In a medium sauce pan, heat enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan. Add the diced onions and a pinch of salt and heat until translucent. Add the farro and 2 cups of water. Add the bay leaves and bring to boil, reduce to simmer. Simmer the farro until it is tender, but still has a bit of a bite to it. Remove bay leaves and discard. Add the tomato paste, plus two heaping TBS of the chili sauce. Stir to combine and then fold in the black beans. Season to taste. Add the rest of the chili sauce to sour cream and set aside.

Salt the chicken breasts on both sides and roast until cooked through. Let rest a minimum of 5 minutes and then slice the chicken breast. To assemble, make a small pile of farro and beans, fan chicken slices out on top and top with a spoonful of the chili crema. Garnish with cilantro leaves and and lime juice juice just before serving.

For the Chili Sauce:

- 2-3 dried ancho chilies
- 1-2 chipotle peppers
- The zest of 1 lime
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp coriander

Re-hydrate the chilies in hot water for about 15 minutes. Using a blender, puree the chilies with about 1/2 cup of the water used to re-hydrate the chilies. Add the lime zest, garlic, cumin and coriander. Puree until smooth.


Eliana said...

This dish looks stellar. And the combination of flavors could not sound more delicious.

Elizabeth said...

This looks delicious!

Elina (Healthy and Sane) said...

I had a vegetarian dish at Masa last week that was served over farro and it was totally my favorite part. It's such a fun grain. That sauce sounds fantastic too!! :)
PS - Let's get together sometime!!

john said...

Looks really delicious recipe. A very thanks for sharing with us. Keep adding such a wonderful stuffs to your blog.

Aron from Store Hours

What's Hot From The Small Boston Kitchen