I know I’ve mentioned before about my kids’ fussy eating (mostly the girls to be fair) but this evening Alice actually claimed not to like a fish finger sandwich. A fish finger sandwich for fecks sake. I had a little cry. There’s me giving them something a bit naughty, and a lot awesome, thus making me a most excellent parent, and one doesn’t friggin like it. Bollocksy children.
There’s not a chance in hell then that I’d offer this Mexican Chicken Rice dish to the little angels. That would be such a waste of a really tasty dish. So I save this for the Husband and I, and pretty much every guest we’ve had since I discovered it. I love this recipe. I love Mexican food. This is basically my version of the Burrito Bowls you see recipes for on Pinterest. But I’m a little nervous to call it a Burrito Bowl as I have no idea whether it actually is or not. So I’ve played it safe. Whatever its name, this is a really tasty rice dish with the gorgeous flavours associated with Mexican food.
Ingredients (Serves 4 adults)
1 tbsp oil
1 onion, chopped
4 chicken breasts, cubed
2 tsp garlic paste / 2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp chilli powder/flakes
1 tsp salt
240g long grain rice
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
500ml chicken stock
1 tin of black eye beans, drained and rinsed
100g cheddar cheese
1. Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat (I used my cast iron casserole dish – mainly for aesthetics – but a normal pan is fine as this dish is fully made on the hob). Add the onion and cook to soften, about 10 minutes.
2. Add the chicken and let it cook for about 5 minutes, then add the garlic and again cook for a couple of minutes.
3. Add the cumin, coriander, paprika (if using, although it adds a lovely smoky flavour which I personally like), chilli and salt, and cook for a few more minutes.
4. Add the long grain rice – I tend to use Basmati rice mostly, but for this dish I only use long grain rice as it holds its form better and won’t go all squishy like Basmati. Mix the rice into the chicken.
5. Add the drained beans, tinned tomatoes, stock and sweetcorn. You can use any beans you like for this dish. I really like the Black Eye Beans (which I get from Asda), but kidney beans, cannellini beans, haricot beans, whatever you fancy, will work too.
Bring the pan to a gentle simmer and pop the lid on. Cook for about 20-25 minutes, until the rice is tender, stirring occasionally to prevent the rice sticking to the bottom of the pot. If you think the dish is drying out too much, you can always add a little more water.
6. Once the rice is cooked through, remove the pan from the heat and top the chicken mixture with the cheese. Pop the lid back on and just leave to melt, without stirring, for about 5 minutes.
You can then spoon out your servings with the cheese melted and gooey on top. Its a versatile dish. Change the chicken for beef steak, pork mince, Quorn pieces, or just add more beans and keep it veggie. Add salsa, guacamole, salad, soured cream, whatever extras take your fancy. It’s a gorgeously flavoursome dish, and so simple!