Mexican-ish Chicken and Rice
Chicken cooked with rice and veggies with Mexican-inspired flavors. It makes a rather large portion. A modification I haven't tried, but would probably be tasty AF is, instead of the serrano, add a chile or two from a can of chiles in adobo sauce. Also add a few spoonfuls of the adobo sauce to the rice cooking liquid.
- ~2.5 lbs chicken (your choice of light or dark), cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 cup uncooked jasmine rice
- 1 2/3 cups of a flavorful liquid (see Flavorings)
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp kosher salt plus more to taste
- 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
- Several cranks of a black pepper mill
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional; to taste)
- 1 14-oz can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained and liquid reserved
- 1 cup-ish stock (chicken, vegetable, whatever you got; water would also work in a pinch)
- Juice from 1 lime (ought to be ~1/3 cup)
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil (or your choice of cooking fat), divided
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 1 poblano pepper, chopped
- 2 ears of corn, kernels removed from the cob
- 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1 serrano pepper (if you want the spiciness), finely chopped
Combine chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, 2 tsp salt, black pepper, and, if desired, cayenne pepper in a medium bowl. Add the chicken pieces and toss to coat the chicken thoroughly. Let sit while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
Prepare the cooking liquid for the rice. Add the reserved liquid from the can of tomatoes and the lime juice to a measuring cup. Add enough stock or water to make 1 2/3 cups of liquid.
Heat 1 1/2 tbsp of oil in a 12-inch skillet (or the biggest you have) over medium-high heat until just starting to smoke. Add the chicken, coat in the oil, and cook for a few minutes until the spices are toasted and at least most of the outside is cooked. Remove the chicken to a plate.
Reduce heat to medium. Add the remaining 1 1/2 tbsp oil along with the onion, poblano, corn, and, if desired, serrano. Cook until the vegetables have started to soften and the onion starts to turn translucent (about 6-8 minutes), stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant (1-2 minutes), stirring occasionally. Next, add the rice to the skillet and cook until the rice turns opaque (2-4 minutes), stirring frequently.
Add the cooking liquid to the pan along with tomatoes, chicken, any juices from the chicken that have accumulated on the plate, and an additional pinch of salt and pepper. Cover and bring to a simmer. Cook until the liquid is absorbed (20-30 minutes). I stir it every 10 minutes or so to make sure the rice has even exposure to the liquid, but that might not be necessary.
Once the liquid has been absorbed, remove the skillet from the heat and let it sit covered for 5-10 minutes. Taste and adjust salt and pepper accordingly.