Does anyone NOT like Mexican food? Little bit spicy, whole lotta saucy, Mex cuisine packs a flavour bomb.
And this Pulled Chicken and Black Bean recipe doesn’t disappoint – a protein-packed bowl of spiced chicken, with fibre-rich beans and a rich tomato sauce perfect for drowning a bowl of rice or greens. The crushed tomatoes keep the chicken super moist, so it’s ideal to cook once and eat often – leftovers for lunch, turn it into soft tacos with wholegrain wraps, or stuff in a baked sweet potato.
It’s totally worth cooking a whole kilo of chicken thighs to portion this out as part of your weekly meal plan. It freezes like a gangster too – just defrost in the fridge, nuke in the microwave and add cottage cheese or Greek yoghurt, fresh coriander and a drizzle of sweet chilli sauce and you’ve got a winning lunch any day of the week.
Why Use Chicken Thighs?
We love chicken thigh fillets over here at Athletist. Skinless, boneless, they cook easily, deliver a protein punch and you can buy a whole kilo for around $11. The higher fat content means this dish freezes well too, and they hold up to spicy, punchy flavours. Perfect when you’re like me, and free-pour cayenne pepper, cumin and paprika to your heart’s content.
Swaps for Black Beans
If black beans are not your jam, or your tummy can’t handle legumes, swap for sliced mushrooms, broccoli florets or even charred eggplant. Delish.
How to Serve Mexican Pulled Chicken with Black Beans
- On top of rice, with Greek yoghurt, sweet chilli sauce and torn coriander leaves
- On top of oven-roasted broccoli and zucchini for a low-carb option
- In a bowl with a runny poached egg on top for breakfast
- In a wrap, with a guac and sour cream
- In soft or hard tacos, with shredded lettuce, tasty cheese and salsa
Pro tip: If you love some Mexican flavours, get your mitts on my Fakeout Recipe for a Guzman y Gomez Beef Burrito Bowl that’s even better than the real thing.
Let’s get cooking.
Mexican Pulled Chicken with Black Bean
- 1 kg boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 brown onion sliced (140g)
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp minced chilli
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- .5 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tins crushed tomatoes
- 1 tin black beans drained, rinsed
- Preheat oven to 160C.
- Cook the onion, garlic and chilli in a non-stick pan over high heat with a little water so it doesn't stick. (Or use a stove- and oven-proof dish so you can transfer straight from cooktop to the oven. Plus, only one dish to wash up. Winning.)
- Once onions are translucent, add chicken thigh fillets and cook until well browned on both sides.
- Add red wine vinegar and swirl around pan to deglaze.
- Add the spices and tomatoes and bring to high heat.
- Once tomatoes are bubbling turn stove off and either transfer to a large ovenproof dish, or if you're using an oven-safe pan, whack it straight into the oven.
- Cook for 15 minutes, then turn chicken and cook for another 15 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, add the black beans, stir through and cook for another 15 minutes. Total oven-cooking time: 45 minutes.