I think by now you have figured out just how much I love New Mexico!
And I love the food from that region.
Trust me when I tell you that the foods of New Mexico are not like any other state.
Arizona might come close.
Texas likes to add the TEX-MEX Flair to the foods from that part of the United States.
Colorado adds a bit more sophistication to the foods from their region.
But, seriously…there is nothing like the foods from and of, New Mexico.
You have seen many of the recipes on this blog that were given to me by my loved ones while we lived in New Mexico.
……Mew Mexico is the land of enchantment for many reasons.
Food being the part I want to discuss today.
Living there for so many years taught me a lot about simple yet delicious foods.
Pork is the mainstay for many dishes in New Mexico.
But chicken runs a close second.
Or perhaps I should say third because Pinto Beans are first.
Each year in September, Moriarty, New Mexico hosts a Pinto Bean Festival where there are games and music and of course Pinto Beans.
Pinto beans are cooked almost daily in many New Mexican kitchens…. and I can’t tell you how many times I just have to put a pot of beans on the stove or in the pressure cooker or in the slow cooker.
I mean, I am almost compelled to cook Pinto beans when the call of New Mexico hits me.
And it hits me often.
I can remember going into my mother-in-law’s quaint eat-in kitchen in the small town of Moriarty….and a pot of beans would be on the back burner of her propane stove….soft tortillas warming under a flour sack towel. Her kitchen was always cozy. It didn’t matter that her white washed plywood cabinets sagged in some places, or that the gray linoleum countertop had worn places in the spot where she made home made tortillas on a daily basis since she was a little girl.
Her small house was the first house built in Moriarty and the walls were 18 inches wide adobe and her tin roof was painted bright red.
She was a Seminole Indian who was born and raised in New Mexico….actually right there in that little adobe house that needed no air conditioner in the summer because of the thick walls and window sills. In the winter time, the only heat needed, was a small propane heater that sat in the living room. The heat from that little heater kept the two bedrooms, bath and dining room plenty warm.
This may be hard to believe, but her little kitchen served entertainers like, Wayne Newton and Glen Campbell, and the Unsers, the race car drivers. They all loved her authentic but simple cooking…But those are stories for another time. I smile because there are many stories like those that I witnessed first hand.
Which brings me to a recipe that I adapted from my mother-in-law….not that her recipes needed a thing.
My recipe calls for a jar of salsa…something she would never use. She would make her own.
I also used chipotle chile in adobo sauce, whereas she would have used fresh chiles from Hatch, New Mexico… that she had cooked until soft and then she would have peeled and hand chopped them adding her own home made mole sauce.
I used boneless chicken. She would have used pork that she cut into bite size cubes and rolled in a little flour before browning.
I used red onion…she would have smiled at the thought of this gringo using “fancy” onion, when a good old yellow Spanish onion would work just fine.
Wonderful memories and wonderful food my friends.
I hope you like this recipe for Chicken And Beans Adobo Soup.
- 1 cup of dried pinto beans
- 1 1/2 cups of salsa
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup of water
- 4-6 boneless chicken breasts (skinless or with skin on, skin adds flavor and can be removed after cooking)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- fresh ground pepper
- 1 medium red onion chopped
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- sour cream, chopped jalapeno, tortilla cut in strips and fried in oil, hot sauce if desired
- Pick the beans and rinse well. Place in a bowl and cover with water to soak for several hours or overnight in the fridge.
- In a slow cooker, place the rinsed beans, salsa, chiles, flour and the water. Mix to combine.
- *Season the chicken with the salt and pepper and garlic powder and brown lightly for a little color and flavor before placing the chicken over the beans
- Toss in the onion and bell pepper
- Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 7 hours
- Remove the chicken and shred and return to the soup mixture
- Serve hot and garnish with sour cream, jalapenos, and tortilla strips.
- *you can skip the chicken browning and place the seasoned chicken on top of the beans if desired.
- To make the tortilla strips, heat oil for deep frying...and cut the tortillas into thin strips, dropping into the hot oil and frying until they start to turn crispy tan. Remove and drain on paper towel before serving as a garnish