Thursday, March 17, 2011
My serious and humble apologies for going so long before updating this blog! Traveling without a kitchen doesn't lend well to writing a blog on cooking. Not receiving my kitchen utensils from the US until February so I've one month to get my groove back on and kick it. Now I'm moving back to Malaysia for the adoption process. Life is busy but I wanted to get this particular recipe out there because it's just that good!
I have been searching for a long time for a recipe for Spanish rice that didn't turn out gummy or with too much raw tomato flavor. I have found it and although the technique left me skeptical, I am very glad that I tried it because it works! Scott is not a fan of rice (unless it's fried rice) and he has only tasted my previous attempts at Spanish rice but he has never finished a portion. He really liked this one! He was shocked and so was I! My picky eater ate all the rice! So without further delay, here is the recipe for Fiesta Chicken & Rice!
Fiesta Chicken & Rice
4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
1/4 C Olive Oil
1 C uncooked Long Grain Rice
1 Medium Onion, chopped
4 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 tsp Dried Oregano
1 tsp Chili Powder
1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 Can (14.5 oz) Diced Tomatoes, Drained
1 Green Bell Pepper, chopped
1 1/4 C Chicken Broth
1 Cup Shredded Cheese (Cheddar, Monterey Jack, or whatever you like on your Mexican dishes)
4 Scallions sliced thin
1. Season chicken liberally with salt and pepper. heat oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium high heat until shimmering. Cook chicken until golden brown on one side, about 4 minutes. Transfer chicken to a large plate, leaving the oil leftovers in the pan.
2. Add rice, onion and and 1/2 tsp Salt to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until the grainse of rice are sizzling and toasted and the onion begins to soften, about 3-4 minutes (reduce the heat if the rice browns too quickly). Stir in the garlic, oregano, chili powder and cayenne pepper and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Stir in tomatoes, green pepper and broth and bring to a boil. Scrape up the bits that might be stuck to the bottom of the skillet. Nestle the chicken into the rice with the cooked, brown side facing up. (pour in any juices that were left on the plate) Cover the skillet and reduce the heat to low. Cook until the chicken reaches 160* (about 12 minutes - more for thicker pieces of chicken)
3. Remove the chicken from skillet to a cutting board and cover with foil. Stir the rice, replace the lid and continue cooking until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed (about another 12 minutes but watch it closely so that it doesn't burn or over-cook).
4. Remove the skillet from the burner. Slice the chicken on the diagonal (see pic). Mound the rice on the serving plates, top with slices of chicken, then the shredded cheese and finish with the sliced scallions or green onions.
This is really a delicious one-pot meal! I hope you will try it! Experiment with different veggies such as mushrooms, red bell peppers or jalapeno peppers. Make it your own!
With Love in the Mix!
I realize the picture does not show the cheese and scallions but it was important for you to see the cut of the chicken. Pico di Gallo is a nice accompaniment for this dish anyway so play with it and enjoy it!