My family has been in a Southwestern food mode lately. Fajitas, tacos, white bean chili ... if tortillas, salsa or chili powder is involved, they're in.

So I've been keeping an eye out for recipes that might appeal to everyone at the dinner table.

This Black Bean Chicken recipe found its way to my desk in early August, right about the time school started. Because that was such a busy time in our household, I was in the old-standby-mode: Just serve what I know they'll eat without complaint.

But now that we're somewhat settled and life is a little more relaxed, I've dug out some of those recipes I've been meaning to try, like this one.

The ingredient list reminds me a little of a barbecue chicken salad dish served at Harvey's, which has, of course, barbecued chicken, as well as lettuce, corn, black beans, tomatoes, scallions, shredded cheese, tortilla strips and ranch dressing.

I plan to make this one night this week and maybe serve it with some Mexican or Spanish rice. Who knows? It might just pass tacos in popularity at the Langford/Parsons household.

Black Bean Chicken

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

1 jar salsa

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

2 cups frozen whole kernel corn

Blue or yellow corn tortilla chips, coarsely broken

2 heads romaine lettuce, washed and torn

Fat-free sour cream

Reduced-fat shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken breast halves in a 9x13-inch baking dish and prick with a fork. Pour jar of salsa, then can of beans, then corn over the chicken. Bake for 35 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Serve chicken on a bed of lettuce and chips and top with sour cream and shredded cheese.

Serves 4.

Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal's food/home/garden editor.

Ginna Parsons

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