South of the Border Rice

 

 

Oh Spanish rice, or Mexican Rice, or Tex-Mex Rice, or Southwestern Rice.

Whatever you wish to call it, it’s good.

I make mine a bit simpler than most, but I do have a reason for doing so. It’s because I love to add a tablespoon or so of fresh green chile salsa as a garnish on the plate, and that really livens it up! So if you don’t want to use salsa as a condiment for this dish, just include your favorite chile chopped up to the sauteing of the onion and green pepper and you’re good to go.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 c regular long-grained rice
  • 1/2 c of diced onion
  • 1/2 c diced green pepper, or red
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/3 c chopped cilantro
  • 1 15oz can of tomato sauce
  • 2/3 c chicken stock
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • canola oil for sauteing

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Heat up about 2 tbsp of canola oil in a skillet and saute onion and green pepper until softened. Add the rice and saute until it is browned.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients, cover and simmer until liquid is absorbed.
  3. Serve with green chile salsa on the side.

Serves: 6

NOTE: Diced fresh or canned tomatoes can be used instead of tomato sauce if you desire. Adjust the liquid so that you have a total of approximately 1 2/3 c. Corn is also a possible addition. I’d say about a cup of kernels, frozen or fresh.

 

 

Arroz con Pollo Like You Never Tasted!

Oh I know what you are saying. Chicken and rice, so boring. You can’t fool me with a fancy Spanish name.

You are so wrong my friend. This is a dish that will thrill you to the bottom of your knee-socks. I mean it. Truly.

It’s a concoction from Cook’s Illustrated and their companion TV show. I tried it, and well, it’s a standard in our house now. It is heaven quite simply. I’ve adapted it a bit to suit my tastes.

The recipe may seem daunting, but really it’s in easy steps that don’t take nearly the time it may appear.

Also don’t be afraid to add some real chilis to this to heat it up if that’s your persuasion.  Just make it once, and you will be a fan.

INGREDIENTS:

For the First Marinade:

  • 6 chicken thighs (use other pieces if you wish, but staying with the same type insures even cooking)
  • 6 cloves garlic, microplaned
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp hot pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Balance of the Ingredients:

  • 1-2 Tbsp oil
  • 1 lg onion diced
  • 1 lg sweet pepper diced
  • 3 fresh poblanos, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 tsp hot pepper flakes
  • 1 1/4  c chicken stock
  • 1/4 c water
  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 Tbsp cilantro, fresh and chopped
  • 2 c rice
  • 1/2 c pimentoed olives, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp capers, rinsed

Final Chicken Marinade:

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4- 1/2 c roasted red peppers, roughly chopped.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Prepare the first marinade and place chicken pieces in it and leave for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile in a oven-capable pot, add the oil, onion, green pepper, and hot pepper flakes and saute until softened and translucent.  Add the chicken and brown lightly on both sides.
  3. Add stock, water, tomato sauce and cilantro. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Add rice, olives and capers, simmer on low while pre-heating oven to 350°.
  5. Place covered in oven for 20 minutes. Check and add a bit of water if necessary and return to cook for another 10 minutes. Rice should be done.
  6. Remove chicken from pot, remove skin and discard. Fork off the meat and place in a bowl.
  7. Compose the second marinade and add to chicken. Mix and then add all back to the rice. Mix and let sit until chicken has rewarmed.

See. That wasn’t so bad!

Serves: 6

Asian Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breasts

This recipe comes direct and untouched from Elizabeth Handlon at JustaPinch.

I fixed this today for dinner and it turned out wonderfully. We really enjoyed it, and this will be part of my rotating menu forthwith.

I made a weird version of “dirty rice” to accompany it, which I’ll briefly describe. This would also work nicely as an appetizer finger food during game season.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 chicken breast, deboned, and cut into about 8 pieces
  • Enough bacon to wrap all the pieces in. (I used 1/2 lb)
  • BBQ sauce (she recommends Uncle Baby Ray’s sweet honey)
  • soy sauce
  • mustard powder
  • ginger powder
  • garlic powder
  • sesame seed oil
  • sugar to sweeten if you need it
  • (she suggests considering pineapple juice as a possibility as well)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Wrap the pieces of chicken with the bacon and saute until bacon is crisp. You can bake if you like.
  2. Mix the rest of ingredients. She does this by feel. I can say I used about 1/2 BBQ sauce, about 1/8 c soy, a tsp mustard, ginger, garlic, about 6 shakes of the sesame oil. And I didn’t use the sugar. My BBQ is sweet.
  3. Once the bacon is crispy, place in a small baking dish, best if they are kinda cramped which keeps the sauce on top.
  4. Cover with sauce, and bake for 20-30 min. at 350°.

As to the rice:

I simply used the same saute pan with the bacon drippings, sautéed one cup rice until a bit browned and toasty. Then I added 2 cups beef broth (cuz I had some open! chicken would be fine), covered and reduced until nearly absorbed. I then added a cup of green peas and a cup of corn, and heated through. Salt and Pepper to taste. We used the rice as a bed for the chicken.

Very nice meal.

Serves: 3 as to the chicken.