CHICKEN ACUTO (In the style of Amerigos)

A while back, I had lunch with a friend at Amerigos in Nashville and ordered Chicken Acuto. After that first bite, it took a bit of effort to keep up with the conversation (apologies to my dear friend). I was so hooked on this dish that, within days, I had worked up a recipe that came so close to it my family finally understood what I was going on and on about. Fortunately for those of us who are pressed for time, the dish is much easier to put together than it appears. Rave on!

Chicken Acuto (in the style of Amerigos)


1 tbsp chopped cilantro

2 limes, juiced

1/2 cup white wine vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup water

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper


1-15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup salsa

1 cup frozen corn, thawed (the small white variety is especially good)


4 chicken breasts pounded thin OR 12 breast tenderloins (as pictured)

1 tbsp olive oil

sea salt

ground black pepper

12 oz green fresh beans, cleaned and tips trimmed

1 small jar marinated artichoke hearts

1) Preheat oven to 200 degrees; place 4 oven-safe plates in oven to warm

2) To small bowl, add: cilantro, lime juice, vinegar, olive oil, water, salt, and pepper; mix and set aside

3) In medium bowl, mix: black beans, salsa, and corn; divide bean mixture between plates in oven, placing mixture in center of each plate; continue to warm plates in oven

4) Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat; add chicken to skillet, lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook 3-4 minutes each side or until chicken is golden and no longer pink in center; remove chicken from skillet and lower heat to medium (you’ll be using skillet again in a minute or so); divide chicken pieces between plates in oven, placing chicken on top of bean mixture; continue to warm plates in oven

5) To skillet, add green beans and cook 3-5 minutes until they begin to soften; add marinated artichoke hearts (liquid and all) and cook another 3 minutes; remove from heat

6) Remove plates from oven; arrange green beans and artichoke hearts around chicken; stir cilantro-lime sauce and pour over chicken, green beans, and artichokes (there should be a pool of sauce around each serving that moistens the salsa); serve immediately and enjoy the luxury of a heated plate that allows you to eat slowly–if you can 🙂

Servings: 4

NOTE: This is a “repeat” recipe featured on my original “Kitchen Novelist” blog 04/25/12