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Pulled Chicken and Black Bean Nacho Casserole


  • 2 tablespoons canola or olive oil

  • 8 bone-in chicken thighs

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin (half a scant palmful)

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander

  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano

  • 1 28-ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes, crushed and diced or crushed by hand as they are added to the pan

  • 1/4 cup chipotle in adobo, peppers puréed or pasted and sauce

  • 1 15-ounce can black beans

  • 1/2 cup chicken stock, if necessary

  • Juice of 1 lime

  • 1 bag best quality corn tortilla chips

  • 2 1/2 cups shredded chipotle cheddar (Cabot brand), smoked cheddar, white cheddar, Pepper Jack or Jack cheese (or a mix of any or all cheeses)

  • 1/4 head Iceberg lettuce or white cabbage, shredded

  • Sour cream

  • Cilantro leaves

  • Homemade Pico de Gallo (tomatoes, red onion, jalapeño, cilantro and salt) or store-bought salsa

  • Pickled jalapeño slices


In a large, ovenproof or cast-iron skillet, heat oil, 2 turns of the pan. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper, and brown evenly; remove to a plate. Add onions and garlic, and stir 5 minutes to soften. Add spices and stir a minute to toast spices. Add tomatoes, chipotle, beans and slide chicken back into pan. Cover pan and bake 30 minutes, covered, then return to stove; remove chicken to plate. Simmer the sauce until ready to serve. 

Remove the chicken meat from its skin and bones, and shred it with forks then add to sauce. Add stock to thin if it gets too thick. Add lime juice to finish. 

Heat chips in oven in large casserole to toast them. Top toasted, browned chips with cheese then with chicken and beans. Garnish with greens, sour cream, cilantro, salsa and jalapeño rings.