Thursday, March 15, 2012

Skillet Chicken with Spanish Rice

I only have to tell you one thing about this recipe. After his first helping, my husband said, and I quote, “I’m going to make myself sick eating this.” Meaning he was going to eat until he was uncomfortable and spend the rest of the night and some of the next day moaning about overeating. And he did.

It’s not on the level of Shanksgiving™ but I do think this meal turned pretty great. Especially because at the start it was looking to be a disaster. The recipe, which I found at Mel’s Kitchen Café, called for TWO cans of green enchilada sauce, and I had only bought one. Normally I’m not too worried about an ingredient shortage, but in this case, 10oz is a lot to make up. But, like a kitchen ninja I deftly changed course and decided to add some tomato sauce and chipotle peppers. We also used Fresno chiles instead of Poblano, because we couldn’t find the latter. My improvising success rate is middling, so the fact that this turned out so delicious was a pleasant surprise. It was a smidge on the spicy side, so if you don’t like super spicy, adjust the number of chipotle peppers you put in.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 Fresno peppers, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (10 oz.) can mild green enchilada sauce
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
3 chipotle peppers, minced (fewer for less spicy)
1 1/2 cups long grain white rice
1 cup water
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat your oil in the pan over medium high heat and once it’s hot, brown the meat on all sides, about 2-3 minutes per side. No need to cook it through. Set the chicken aside and in the same pan sautee the onion and fresno pepper for around 3-4 minutes until the onions are soft. Add the garlic and cumin and cook for another 30 seconds or so, stirring and making sure not to burn the garlic. Next add in the enchilada sauce, tomato sauce, chipotle peppers, water and rice. Mix it all up until it’s combined and then bring to a boil. Once it’s boiling, turn it down to simmer and add the chicken back in, pushing it down into the sauce as much as possible. Cover the skillet and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring about every 5 minutes to keep the rice from sticking on the bottom (this was very necessary). It’s done when most of the liquid is absorbed and it’s looking like something you really want to eat. I hope you enjoy it, but not so much that you overindulge and make yourself miserable.

(Click here for printable recipe)

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