Not Just Another Chicken And Rice Dish

The inspiration for this simple yet oh so satisfying little chicken and rice dish came from about 18 places.  First, I was craving something rice based, then wanted something spicy.  Later on in the afternoon I saw (and smelled) some delicious looking cilantro at a farmer's market and I happened to have some leftover chicken on hand.  Not a bad little creation considering the inspiration came from so many places.  Drawing on some classic Mexican components, this dish is a nice little change up from your average chicken and rice dinner.  I think what truly makes this dish work so well is the balance of all of the flavors.  There's a significant amount of smoky chipotle heat in here, but the cilantro and lime have a cooling affect while the corn provides little bursts of sweetness.  This would be a great little dish to make for a Mexican themed dinner.  (Just be sure to invite me over if there is a pinata.  Aren't those fun?) You could also add some sharp cheddar to the rice and use it to stuff a burrito or this would make a super little stuffing for some stuffed peppers as well.

Along with there being several options of how to serve this little creation, there are a myriad of things you could put into it to change it up even further.  Try pieces of steak or bits of sausage instead of chicken or do away with the meat entirely and add some black beans.  Get in touch with your inner creative chef here and just create!

Okay, I seriously cannot stop eating this and I need to go back for round two!  Mmm, this dish totally hit all of my cravings.  I just love when that happens!

Mexican Chicken and Rice
- 1 large chicken breast, cooked and shredded
- About 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 small 14 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes
- About a tbs of tomato paste
- The juice and zest of 1 lime
- About a tsp cumin
- 1 ear of corn, cooked and cut from the cob (or a couple handfuls of frozen corn)
- Chipotle sauce (found at specialty stores and Whole Foods.  This is strong stuff and you can add as much as you'd like.  I love heat so I used about 3-4 tbs)
- A giant handful of cilantro, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste

Add the tomatoes to a pan and break them apart with your hands.  Add the chipotle sauce, cumin, tomato paste, lime zest/juice and salt and pepper.  Stir thoroughly, cover and let it simmer for 20-30 minutes.  Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.  Add the rice and chicken and let it simmer for 10 minutes or so.  Right before serving, add the corn and cilantro.  Serve while warm.

1 comment:

Boston Food Diary said...

mmmm that looks delicious! Great ideas for how to use it-if you can resist just eating it straight!

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