Melting pot meal

As you may recall DH is from New Orleans and my family is from the Dominican Republic. Our cuisine is very similar because of the French and Spanish influence that occupied both geographical locations.  This makes me very happy.  I enjoy cooking dishes from all around but my favorite is always what I grew up with…. rice, beans, and some kind of meat. These days we have swapped out our not-so-healthy white rice for bulgur wheat.  It’s the stuff they use to make tabouleh.  You know, that very popular middle eastern salad that has tomatoes, parsley, onion, etc.  Well, believe it or not I grew up eating several middle eastern and mediterranean dishes that are very popular in Domincan Republic because of the Arabic and Turkish influence on the island. One of my favorites are quipes (pronounced key-pay).  My mom makes the best ones ever.

Tonight I was in the mood for the ultimate comfort food for both DH and I.  RiceBulgur wheat, beans, and meat (chicken, to be exact.)

If you have never tried bulgur wheat as a rice substitute… go for it!  It is so much healthier and it tastes just as delicious.  We haven’t eaten rice in months and that is tough for us both since we grew up eating rice almost every single day!  If we can make the switch you can at least give it a try!  You can find bulgur wheat at just about any supermarket these days.  The bulgur wheat we have says there is 8 grams of protein in just 1/4 cup!

Here is the make-do recipe I threw together tonight.

Crispy Chicken Thighs with Bulgur Wheat and Beans
Bulgur Wheat:
It cooks very similar to rice.  I usually cook 2 cups of bulgur wheat and put it in a pan to boil with about 3 cups of water and a little bit of olive oil.
Bring water to a boil, stir around and when most of the water is evaporated, put a lid on the pot and set heat to low for about 15-20 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed and the bulgur wheat is nice and fluffy. 
Beans:
I use dry beans that I soak in water for a few hours and then boil for about 1.5 hours.  But you can just used canned red kidney beans.  Same difference.
-In a medium saucepan put 1 lb of softened dry beans or 2 cans of red kidney beans with 2 cups of water to boil with 2 cloves of garlic a pinch of salt and 2 bay leaves.  Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to simmer for about 15 minutes.
– After 8-10 minutes that the water has started to evaporate cut up some bacon (we use turkey bacon) and drop it in the pot.  This adds a delicious smokey flavor.
– Simmer another few minutes or until the consistency of the beans are to your liking.
-Salt and pepper to taste.  I don’t salt too much at the beginning because since the water evaporates and the beans will reduce the salt will concentrate and then you’ll end up with it too salty.  So season at the end.
Chicken:
-Season your chicken thighs with Goya Adobo! You don’t have to but that is what I use most of the time.  You can just use salt & pepper if you want.
In a frying pan or pot at medium high heat drizzle a a little of extra virgin olive oil.  Then place your chicken thighs skin side down (I know we shouldn’t be eating crispy chicken skin but my husband loooooves and it and I hadn’t made it in a while.  Don’t judge us, please.)
-Leave thighs without moving them until the skin side is nice and crispy.  Turn them over and continue to cook until the internal temperature of the chicken is between 170 and 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
Buen provecho!

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