Sunday, June 19, 2011

Skillet Chicken with Mexican Green Rice

I have to say I've been on a bit of a cooking roll this week. I love when that happens. I wanted to try some new things but also use up some ingredients we had on hand. I had found chicken thighs marked down recently at the grocery store and originally planned on making a recipe that involved roasting apples and chicken thighs, but since it's definitely summer here (the high temps have been in the low 100s), roasting sounded like a horrible way to cook dinner. I pulled out one of my trusty America's Test Kitchen 30-Minute Supper magazines for a different idea. I found this recipe in the issue from last summer. I had always wanted to try it, but chicken thighs aren't something I usually have on hand.

Skillet Chicken with Mexican Green Rice
Source: America's Test Kitchen 30-Minute Suppers, Summer 2010

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, excess fat trimmed
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped fine
2 poblano peppers, cored, seeded, and chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 14-ounce can green enchilada sauce
1 cup long-grain white rice
1-1/4 cups water
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Cook chicken until well browned on one side, about 5 minutes. Transfer to plate.

Add onion, poblanos, and remaining oil to now-empty skillet and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add enchilada sauce, rice, water, and any accumulated chicken juices and bring to boil, scraping up any browned bits. Nestle chicken in rice browned side up, cover, and cook over low heat, stirring every 5 minutes, until rice is tender and chicken registers 175 degrees, about 20 minutes.

Stir in cilantro and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.


This ended up taking me more like 45 minutes than 30 because I couldn't fit all the chicken in my skillet without really crowding it and had to cook it in two batches. I was a bit worried my kiddos wouldn't like this because Boy #1 doesn't dig on spicy food, but it wasn't really spicy at all which was good. If you wanted it hotter, you could add in a minced jalapeno with the onion and poblano. I don't think I stirred mine often enough because I had some rice that stuck to the bottom of the skillet.

All in all, we really liked this. My kids ate it no problem, and the rice cooked in the enchilada sauce was really tasty. I don't know about you, but I cannot find 14 ounce cans of enchilada sauce lately, only the big 28 ounce cans. It works out okay because I freeze the other half to use later, but it sure would be nice to get just the size I need. It was actually kind of funny because I had found a bag of something dark red in my freezer recently and had no idea what it was. Then when I was packing up the remaining green enchilada sauce, I realized what was in the mystery bag--red enchilada sauce! Why I hadn't labeled it, I don't know.

Anyway, this is definitely something I'd make again! I finished up the leftovers for lunch yesterday, and they were still tasty, although the rice wasn't quite as good as it was originally.

FYI, the picture in the magainze is a lot nicer looking. Their rice isn't nearly as saucy as mine, but that's okay...I like saucy rice. And their pieces of chicken were more browned than mine.

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