Thursday, October 29, 2009

Red Chili Chicken and Rice with Black Beans

Another Annie recipe - and another good one! I am always looking for new Mexican recipes for J and I to enjoy, and this is even rather healthy!The only issue I had with this recipe was the length of time it took - our rice just was not cooking! It wouldn't have been as big of a deal if I expected it, but we just kept constantly checking it every 10 minutes after it was supposed to be done. We will make this again, but next time I'll either allot more time for the rice to cook, or remove the cooking liquid from the recipe and toss cooked rice in there at the end and just heat everything together for a few minutes. Annie generally posts pretty reliable recipes though, so I'm guessing it was just the kind of rice I used, and it might not even happen next time.

Red Chili Chicken and Rice with Black Beans
from Annie's Eats, originally adapted from Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless
serves 4

2 tbsp. canola oil (I used olive oil)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2.5 tbsp. ancho chili powder, divided (I used regular chili powder)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup long-grain rice
4 cloves garlic, minced
1½ cups chicken broth
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
¼ cup green onions, chopped (or 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro)
½-1 cup salsa, for serving

1. Heat the oil in large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Season both sides of the chicken breast halves with salt and sprinkle with half of the chili powder. Place the chicken in the hot oil and brown on each side, 2-3 minutes. Remove to a plate, leaving behind as much oil as possible.

2. Add the onion and rice to the pot. Stir for several minutes, until the rice turns from translucent to opaque. Add the garlic and the remaining chili powder to the pot. Cook for 1 minute, stirring, then add the chicken broth and salt to taste. Stir well. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer on medium-low heat. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.

3. Cut the chicken breasts into 1-inch pieces and add them to the pot along with the beans. (This chicken is still uncooked in the middle at this point, but it will be cooked through after you add it back to the pan for longer, don't worry!) Recover the pot and allow to cook 12 minutes longer.

4. Sprinkle the green onions on top of the chicken, beans and rice. Test a grain of rice – it should have no more than a hint of chalkiness at the center. If the rice has the correct texture, replace the cover, remove the pot from the heat and let stand 5-10 minutes. If the rice is not completely cooked yet, cook for 5 minutes longer before covering to let stand.

5. Fluff the mixture with a fork and serve with salsa.

This was very tasty. We actually served with salsa and sour cream. I really liked this recipe from the standpoint that I normally keep the ingredients on hand, so I could make it without too much planning. Other than our rice not cooking as quickly, it was a great recipe. Can't wait to try it again to work out the kinks.

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