Quick and Easy – Mexican Chipotle Chicken Stew with Rice and Beans

I have been following with interest these past few month Diane’s Kitchen Table, where the host of that blog has been undergoing a major kitchen refit. The results are spectacular to say the least. Wondering what was going to be created in this new space, I was informed that lobster risotto has already been completed.

Now in that part of the world lobster risotto might be an everyday dish; over here most people don’t even know what a lobster looks like (I know however that it is not supposed to look like the strange squashed frozen thing shrink-wrapped into a tube we Brits can find in the back of the freezer at the local supermarket).

And this got me thinking about what is common-as-chips or totally acceptable in one part of the world is completely outlandish and bizarre in another.

Take Sannakji for example, a dish I read about on a blog (sorry I cannot remember which one). It’s a Korean delicacy comprising octopus, sesame seeds and oil. Not bad if you like that sort of thing – straightforward, simple food. Except for one important feature. The octopus is still alive.

Yes that’s right. They chop it up, splash some oil on it and serve it with the tentacles still squirming around on the plate as you pop a yummy morsel in your mouth.

But here is the best bit. You have to watch how you eat it. Because the suckers on the tentacles are still working. People are known to have died because the suckers have attached themselves to the inside of the diner’s throat and choked them to death. Mother didn’t tell you to chew your food because she liked the sound of her own voice you know. She had a point.


Seriously ridiculous way to kill yourself. Better off sticking with chicken-based creations like this easy-peasy chilli dish. Mexican Chipotle Chicken Stew benefits from a smoky chipotle paste. Chicken is altogether less likely to wake up and nip you on the tongue than an octopus (although I am aware of the fact that chickens can run around the yard after their heads have been cut off).  Seems a bit late to kick off about being beheaded though.

Mexican Chipotle Chicken Stew


  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 small onions
  • 2 chicken breasts, corn-fed, free range
  • 1 large red pepper
  • half red chili
  • a small jar chipotle paste
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • half a glass red wine
  • half can pinto beans
  • 1 big handful chopped coriander
  • 1 tbsp soft brown sugar

To serve

  • rice
  • the other half can of pinto beans
  • juice of one lime
  • another handful of coriander, chopped
  • yogurt
  • salt and pepper

Get a dutch oven or pot and heat some oil on a low heat. Add the chopped garlic and red chilli and fry for a few mins.


Then add the onion and red pepper. Cook for a while longer then add the chopped tomatoes, paste, stock, wine, and whole chicken breasts.


Bring to a simmer. Pop in an oven at 150 centigrade for half an hour or so. Remove from the oven.


Take out the chicken and transfer to a plate. Shred the chicken and return to the pot with the beans and sugar.


Add more wine or water if the sauce is too thick. Return to the oven. Meanwhile cook the rice. For the last minute add the beans.


Drain then add the coriander and lime juice.


Take the pot out of the oven and stir in the coriander. Scatter a few leaves on top. Check the seasoning.


Serve with the yogurt.


24 thoughts on “Quick and Easy – Mexican Chipotle Chicken Stew with Rice and Beans

  1. Thanks for the shout-out and you’re right, I’m so used to fresh live lobster here that I never think that it’s not available everyone. Even here in the states there’s areas that don’t get it or they have this scrimpy excuse called a rock lobster (not the same at all). We have got to get you guys over here to do a proper New England clam back – steamers, clam chowder & piles of fresh cooked lobster dripping in melted butter. Oh, wait bring your heart medicine when you come.
    You are giving me nightmares about this octopus thing & after thinking about it since I read that on your blog it didn’t occur to me that that sucker would still be kicking & squirming all the way down. It almost sounds like some kind of dare that a college frat house would dream up for initiates.
    I’m so glad you finished by putting that chicken stew in my brain and will have to focus on that instead. It really looks like its got some heft to it & perfect for the cold weather we’ve been having here.

  2. Looks yummy! I’m insanely jealous of Diane’s Kitchen – like in a bad way. It’s gorgeous.
    I’ve never heard of people being chocked to death by an octopus, that seems terrifying!! Somehow it reminded me of the Simpson’s episode with the poisonous blowfish. “Poison, poison, tasty fish”.
    Oh and nothing beats a Nova Scotia lobster, straight from the Atlantic – heaven on earth!

  3. As a young girl on the farm, I sometimes watched my father behead chickens for our dinner. So, I literally have seen chickens run around with their heads cut off. I also got to help my Mom with the plucking and cleaning of said birds once they stopped their post-mortal dance. It may sound gruesome, but I certainly have a better idea of where my food comes from than many people I know. I’ll place my bets on a nice chicken dish over a being choked to death by an octopus any day. And since I’m having chicken, I think I’ll use your recipe. Sounds great!

  4. Oh my goodness…eating cooked octopus alone sounds icky enough to me already. Eating living octopus that can kill you?! No thanks, I’ll stick to the chicken chili–thanks for the recipe!

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