Mexican Chicken & Rice

Nihao (hello) from Guangzhou! It’s been a roller coaster ride for the past 6-7 months since our last post, but we are beginning to feel somewhat “settled” into our new city, which has finally led me to my very first post from the Far East. My plan is to share with you a bit of life here, while also posting our recipe discoveries. So what better way to begin than by posting a…Mexican dish??? Well, at least it bodes a foreign flavor. The truth is, life here at the moment has made cooking a bit challenging at times.

We are currently in a temporary apartment while our permanent home is under renovation. This means we are without both internet (I’m currently in a public wifi spot) and our kitchen supplies, so currently our cooking doesn’t extend much beyond boiling rice and sautéing a few vegetables. BUT it has given us a prime opportunity to sample the local cuisine, which has been awesome! And (knock on wood) I have yet to get sick, so I’ll continue to sample my heart out.

Of course I have pictures of our new food discoveries, but my camera cord is in the shipment of kitchen supplies and our other belongings. So it will probably be a few more weeks before I can fully relate our culinary experiences to you all back West.

In the mean time, I did find a great Mexican dish right before we moved from DC that I’ve been meaning to post for some time now. It’s both simple and tasty, and very flexible so you can easily add items or take something out, based on your preference.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

3-4 boneless chicken breasts, prepared with spice rub beforehand (see below)
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium onion chopped
3 cloves garlic chopped
1 1/2 cups brown rice (or your preference)
3 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth
2 jars roasted red pepper chopped (2-4 peppers)
1 16-oz can plum tomatoes chopped
1 16-oz canned black beans rinsed
1 16-oz bag frozen baby corn
1/4 teaspoon salt
(optional) 1 green chile pepper, seeded and chopped; for an extra kick throw in some of the seeds
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro chopped

Spice Rub:
1 1/2 teaspoon Red pepper flakes
1 1/2 teaspoon Ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoon Chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper freshly ground

Over medium heat in large dutch oven with cover, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Sauté chicken about 2-3 minutes on both sides, so that outside is golden brown. Remove chicken and set aside.

Add remaining tablespoon of oil to pot. Add onion; sauté for 3-4 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic and sauté for additional 1 minute. Stir in rice and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in chicken broth, roasted peppers, tomatoes with juice, black beans, corn and salt. Bring to simmer; add chicken back to casserole. Cover and reduce heat to low; cook for 20 minutes. Turn chicken and cook for another 25 minutes, or until chicken pulls away easily and rice is tender. Take chicken out and place on cutting board. Shred chicken with two forks then add back to pot. Add cilantro. Serve immediately.

Spice Rub:
Mix together all ingredients in small bowl. Pat chicken dry, then rub spices onto chicken pieces. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for least 1 hour.

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