The Chicano Movement

Cultural Perspectives

Chicano Black Bean Soup with Chorizo and Chicken

“Welcome, muchachas from Teocaltiche, in this class we speak English refrito, English thick as mango juice, English tuned like a requinto from Uruapan, English lighted by Oaxacan dawns, English spiked with mezcal from JuchitÁn, English with a red cactus flower blooming in its heart.”

Gina Valdez

“Chicano” literature embraces verse, prose, books for children, and music. The term refers to Mexicans, Cuban Americans, and Puerto Ricans who live in the southwestern United States. One characteristic of Chicano poetry is a robust fusion of Spanish and English, contrasting nuances. Chicano renaissance permeates Hispano-American society. Plays, music, and visual arts continue this explosion of creative brimstone, a movement that can truly be called “El Alma de la Raza.”

From “Nani” by Alberto Rios:

“I watch the mama warming tortillas for me. Near her mouth, I see a wrinkle speak of a man… then words from more wrinkles about children, about this and that… Each serves as a tremendous string around her. She asks me if I want more… Even before I speak, she serves.”

La Raza’s cuisine is as earthy as its people — and this recipe!

Chicano Black Bean Soup with Chorizo and Braised Chicken

4 pieces chicken thighs and drumsticks, skins removed
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp. oil
2 links chorizo – one chicken and one pork, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
8 scallions, finely sliced, greens and whites reserved separately
4 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. ground cumin seed
2 whole canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely minced, plus 1 tbsp. sauce from can
1 can chicken or beef broth
1 28 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed (or use 3/4 lb. home-cooked dried black beans)
2 bay leaves

Sliced avocado
Chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 serrano pepper, thinly sliced (optional)
Sour cream, Mexican-style crema, or yogurt
Limes, cut into wedges

Season chicken on all sides with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add chicken and sauté until browned. Remove and set aside. Add chorizo and fry, stirring occasionally, until crisp and starting to char, about 4 minutes. Carefully drain off excess fat. Add scallion whites and garlic. Cook, stirring and scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add cumin, chopped chipotles and adobo sauce, stirring for another minute. Return chicken pieces to casserole. Add 1 cup water, broth and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook, uncovered stirring occasionally, until chicken is tender, but still firm. Remove chicken pieces, add black beans and nestle chicken back into ingredients. Return to a boil, reduce and continue to gently simmer for a further 10 minutes. Remove bay leaves. Mash some of the beans against the side of the pot, repeating this process until soup is the desired thickness. Garnish with chopped cilantro, scallion greens, lime wedges, sliced serrano pepper (if used), sour cream, crema or yogurt.

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