One Pot Mexican Chicken and Rice
Chicken seared with Fajita flavours then baked with seasoned rice. This is a flavour explosion in one pot! This recipe makes more rice than for the prescribed number of servings because it is difficult to make less using this method of cooking. So you will probably have leftovers. The rice keeps very well in the fridge for up to 3 days (as does the chicken).
Mexican Spice Mix
- 1 tbsp garlic powder (or 2 garlic cloves, minced)
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tbsp cumin powder
- 1 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (Note 1), optional
- Black pepper
- 5 chicken thigh fillets , bone-in and skin on (Notes 2 and 3)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lime (juice only)
- 1 small onion , peeled and diced (or 1/2 large)
- 1 garlic clove , minced
- 1 red capsicum (bell pepper), sliced
- 1 cup long grain rice , uncooked (Note 4)
- 1 cup chicken stock/broth (or vegetable stock)
- 3/4 cup tomato puree or passata (Note 5)
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels (or canned - drained)
- 1 can (400g/16oz) black beans , drained and rinsed (or sub with red kidney beans)
- 1 lime , plus extra to serve
- Sliced jalapeño peppers (optional)
Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
Combine the Mexican Spice Mix ingredients in a small bowl.
Rub Chicken: Place 2 tbsp of the Mexican Spice Mix in a small bowl with 1 tbsp olive oil and lime juice. Mix to combine. Use your hands to slather the Mexican Spice Mix all over each piece of chicken.
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a deep skillet over medium high heat. Cook chicken in batches for 2 minutes or until browned, then cook the other side for 1 1/2 minutes. Remove chicken onto a plate.
In the same skillet, still over medium high heat, add the onion, garlic and capsicum (bell peppers). Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until the onion and capsicum start to brown. These will get covered in the brown bits stuck to the fry pan from searing the chicken (adds flavour and colour to the rice).
Turn the stove down to medium, then add the rice. Stir to coat the rice grains with the onion mixture and oil.
Add the chicken stock, tomato puree/passata, corn, beans and remaining Mexican Spice Mix. Stir to combine.
Place chicken back in the skillet on top of the rice, skin side up. It should be partially submerged in the liquid but most of the skin should be above the liquid.
Bring to simmer, then turn off the stove. Cover the skillet with a lid or foil and place into the oven.
Bake for 25 minutes, then remove from the oven and take off the lid/foil.
Return the skillet to the oven, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes until only small puddles of liquid remain on the surface of the rice. This step allows the chicken skin to crisp up and the remaining liquid in the rice to largely evaporate.
Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes (uncovered). Any remaining liquid will evaporate in this step.
Squeeze the juice of 1 lime over the chicken and rice.
Serve, garnished with coriander/cilantro leaves, extra lime wedges and sliced jalapeños, if desired. Sour cream and yoghurt also goes well with this.
1. I use cayenne pepper instead of chili in most of my recipes that call for heat. This is because "chili powder" differs from country to country, and even brand to brand. Chili powder in American has more in it than just ground dried chills, including onion powder and other seasonings. However, cayenne pepper is typically the same globally (I believe). So to ensure consistency of results, I use cayenne pepper.
2. I like making this with bone-in skin-on chicken because I think that the meat is juicier and I love the crispy skin. This also works really well with drumsticks. To make it healthier you can use skinless chicken thigh fillets. It is still really delicious, you just don't get the crispy skin. My personal view is that chicken breast is not suited to this recipe. Because the cooking time is dependent on the rice, it is difficult to cook chicken breast perfectly so it doesn't end up dry and there is no sauce to compensate if the breast is overcooked.
3. If using chicken thigh fillets, add the chicken into the skillet after it has been in the oven for 10 minutes. Otherwise the chicken will probably be overcooked (because the cooking time is for bone-in chicken fillets which take about 10 minutes longer to cook).
4. You can substitute the long grain rice with basmati or jasmine rice. The next best substitute is medium grain rice. Short grain rice, risotto rice and paella rice are not suited to this recipe (the rice will end up mushy).
5. Tomato passata / puree is like a thick tomato juice. It is plain pureed tomatoes. Not to be confused with tomato paste or tomato ketchup! You can make your own by pureeing any plain canned tomatoes in a blender (which is what I did). Otherwise, mix 1/3 cup of tomato paste with 2/3 cup water and add 1 tsp of sugar, and use as per recipe directions.
6. Nutrition per serving.
Serving: 442g | Calories: 713kcal | Carbohydrates: 61.2g | Protein: 40.8g | Fat: 33.9g | Saturated Fat: 1.1g | Cholesterol: 144mg | Sodium: 1612mg | Potassium: 793mg | Fiber: 7.4g | Sugar: 6.1g | Vitamin A: 1200IU | Vitamin C: 48.7mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 5mg