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
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