Red Chile Chicken and Rice with Black Beans

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I’m a big fan of one-pot meals, as well as arroz con pollo, so when I saw this recipe in—you guessed it, Mexican Everyday—I knew I’d like it. What I didn’t realize was that, despite not having many more ingredients than your standard chicken and rice, it would be so, so tasty.  Cooking the rice for a bit before adding any liquid gives it a nice toasty flavor and then sauteing it with the ancho chili powder really makes the ingredients come through even more. Although this doesn’t need the salsa at the end (I had my leftovers without it), I’d definitely recommend using it. It just adds another layer of flavor.

I was a little skeptical about only using 1.5 cups of broth for 1 cup of rice (standard ratio being 2 cups), even though the rice was cooking a bit as it toasted. When I added the chicken and beans, there was pretty much no liquid left and I started to get a little worried. But, I trusted the recipe and went with it. It turned out absolutely perfect. Fluffy and perfectly cooked. And I admit, I kind of suck at cooking rice – it often comes out underdone or overcooked and mushy.

This was so easy and good, and will definitely make many reappearances in our household.


Red Chile Chicken and Rice with Black Beans
Arroz Rojo con Pollo y Frijoles Negros

Serves 4
Adapted from Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless

2 Tbsp. canola oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (1.25-1.5 lbs. total)
2.5 Tbsp. ancho chili powder, divided
1 medium onion, large dice
1 cup rice
4 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 cups chicken broth
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup chopped green onions, roots and wilted outer leaves removed before chopping (OR 1/3 cup cilantro OR 2-3 Tbsp. epazote or hoja santa)
1/2 to 1 cup salsa, such as Smoky Chipotle Salsa, or chipotle hot sauce for serving

Heat the oil in a medium-large heavy pot (with a lid) over medium-high heat. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken breast with salt and 1 Tbsp. of the ancho 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.

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 1.5 Tbsp. ancho chili powder. Cook one minute, and then add the broth and salt to taste. Stir well. When the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover, and cook for 10 minutes.

Cut the chicken breast into 1″ pieces.  Add them to the pot along with the beans. Re-cover and cook 12 minutes longer.

Sprinkle the green onions and test a kernel of rice.  It should  have no more than a hint of chalkiness at in the center, in which case you place the cover back on, remove it from the heat and let it stand 5-10 minutes.  If it’s not cooked, cook for another 5 minutes or so.

Fluff the mixture with a fork and serve with salsa for each person to spoon on al gusto.

Nutritional Information Per Serving: Calories: 517 / Fat: 10.4g / Saturated Fat: 1.3g / Carbs: 60g / Fiber: 9.3g / Protein: 44g

Red Chile Chicken and Rice with Black Beans

  • One pot meals are the best!!! We are having the last of the really cold weather so this is just perfect!!!

  • Yum! I’m totally putting this on the menu for next week; it looks amazing!

  • Loved Rick Bayliss on TOP CHEF MASTERS and this sounds delicious. One question…on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest) how spicy is this dish?

    • Hi JoAnn. It’s not very spicy. Anchos are dried poblanos, which are pretty mild and sort of earthy in taste. If you use a spicy salsa to serve on top, that will make it spicier obviously, but otherwise, I’d put it pretty low on the 1-10 scale…maybe a 3 or something. If my husband can eat it and not think it’s spicy, it’s probably not too bad 🙂

  • Thanks, Elly !

  • ash

    oh yum! looks delicious! looks like a great weeknight dinner!

  • Looks delicious and filling too!

  • Melissa

    This looks really good, and easy clean-up with the one pot! Definitely more flavorful than regular old chicken and rice!

  • Annie

    Yum yum yum. Totally trying this!

  • I’m digging this little mexican kick, woman! This looks delicious.

  • Ooh, if I hadn’t made something like this just last night, I’d make it tonight! I’ll bet it tastes better than mine did, I just threw some stuff together and called it a mexican casserole, lol

  • Erin

    I can’t wait to try this. I love Mexican and one-pot meals, so this is perfect!

  • Hi Elly – I posted a message but it came up with another blog I manage, not my food blog. You wouldn’t know who it was (you can delete it) and I’m reposting the message that said something to the effect that you did a great job following the Master’s recipe — and that you’re starting to convince me that I need to go out and get that cookbook.

  • Ivy

    Mexican food is great and must definitely try this one.

  • This looks like a super flavorful one pot meal – yum!

  • Hi Elly! I have a little surprise for you on my blog: http://singinghorse.vox.com. When it is convenient, please check it out. Thanks!

  • This looks like a super flavorful one pot meal – yum!…

  • Ooh this looks delicious and authentic! After Bayless won Top Chef Masters I have been wanting to try some of his stuff!

  • One pot meals are a perfect choice for late nighy suppers Elly. This dish from Rick Bayless sounds delicious:D

  • emily227

    Yum. This looks amazing. I love rice and beans. I am definitely bookmarking this one!

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  • tiff

    This looks really good. I will have to try it soon.

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  • Mallory

    This was so good and so simple! Thanks so much for sharing.

  • ash

    tried this recently and its good!! thanks for sharing!

    • So glad you liked it!

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  • Lumbride

    I made this last night and it was delish. I used regular chili powder and it still tasted great. Thanks for sharing this recipe – it will definitely be going into the regular rotation.

    • elly

      Great! Happy you liked it. We just had it again this week, and actually I have leftovers for lunch today. 🙂

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  • ana

    This was so delicious and easy. I’m making it again for a friend who just had a baby.

    • elly

      Glad you liked it, Ana!

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