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Yesterday morning I was in the mood to do some slow cooker cooking. I looked in a skinny slow cooker magazine we had picked up, but everything was too exotic and I didn’t have most of the ingredients. Then I noticed the cover of another magazine we had. My eyes were drawn to the the rich, contrasting colors of black beans, red bell pepper and the green of cilantro. 

I didn’t even open the magazine, but started digging through my pantry, fridge and freezer. Chicken – check! Black beans, red bell pepper, and cilantro – check! Onions and garlic – duh! Tomato and corn – more wonderful colors and flavors! Hot green chilies – why not? Life’s better with some spice!

Slow cookers are pretty darn forgiving. So try throwing in some ingredients! Pick a theme, like I went with Southwest and picking ingredients you like. Just keep in mind that slow cookers tend to draw out the moisture in ingredients, so if you add broth or other liquids you’re going to have more of a soup. If that’s what you’re going for, great! I was shooting for a moist, flavorful concoction that would be well served over rice and that’s what I got with this recipe. If you weren’t shooting for soup, but that’s what you’re getting, you can always thicken it up quickly by adding some fast cooking brown or white rice. 

Southwest Slow Cooked Chicken

2 large green onions, diced

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

1/2 large fresh tomato, diced

3/4 cup frozen corn

4 boneless skinless chicken thighs

Salt and pepper

2 cloves garlic, pressed or diced

1  – 15 oz can black beans, drained

1 – 4 oz can hot diced green chilies

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Spray slow cooker pot with non-stick spray. Put chicken in pot and season with salt and pepper. On top of chicken, layer tomatoes, garlic, onions, bell pepper, corn, chilies and black beans. Cover pot and cook on low in your slow cooker for 6-8 hours. We garnished ours with non-fat sour cream and jalapeno slices.. 

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