Monday, January 18, 2010

Chipotle Chicken and Rice...

We've been making a lot of one-pot dishes lately and I'm diggin' this less pots and pans to wash stuff. Continuing with that theme, I made another tonight, Chipotle Chicken and Rice, that we think will stay near the top of list of recipes to repeat (which I'm sure doesn't get tapped nearly as often as Jeff would like!).

We gave a range on the meaty chicken thighs called for - I used about a pound and a half to attain four hearty servings for us, but the original did call for two full pounds. Both of us thought our amount was plenty, but if you'll be serving meat-hungry people, bump it up to two pounds. While the chicken does cook through as apart of the rice-cooking process, to give it a more developed character, after the thighs were seasoned, we browned both sides of the chicken (in two batches - don't try to stuff all of them in the pot and expect to get a decent sear) first, then set them on a plate while we continued on with the recipe.

Into the drippings left behind, we tossed in a mild sliced red onion and let the pieces sweat out, scraping the bottom of the pot as we went along to pull up any tasty bits stuck from the chicken. If the bottom of your pot looks a bit dry or the bits don't seem to be coming off, don't be shy to use some help - add just a little wine, broth or even water, to help loosen the prized caramelized nuggets stuck to the bottom. Garlic, chopped coarse, went in next, along with cumin and the magic ingredient for this one-pot meal - chopped chipotle chiles! These gems are just smoked jalapeƱos, canned in a vinegary sauce, that are earthy and lend a fiery sweet heat. Since we crave spice, we used two - but one would be fine, or if that is even too much, you can scrape the seeds out to lessen the blow.

Once the garlic and spices had a chance to bloom, a couple fresh tomatoes are tossed in and allowed to cook until their juices flow over the bottom of the pan, giving you a base to cook the rice in. You won't have quite enough liquid, so a cup of broth (or water, if you so choose) is also poured into the pot, along with the partially-cooked chicken and any juices they left behind. The rice doesn't go in just yet - a cover is added, trapping the moisture in the pot, and the ingredients are left to simmer and marry.

Several minutes later, the rice is ready to go in, basmati in our case (or your choice of long-grained white rice) - I do suggest removing the chicken first as you want the rice to be completely submerged in the liquid. However, be sure you put the chicken back in! Do note that this takes longer to cook than your average pot of rice - plan for an extra 5 to 10 minutes. Cooked until the rice absorbed all the fragrant juices and liquid in the pot, turning a rosy tinge of red in the process, we served each portion with a sprinkling of cilantro and a wedge of lime for a touch of brightness. I appreciated how the layers of salt seasoned this dish, first on the chicken, a little with the onion and finally with the tomatoes as each had their own benefit and resulted in a meal that was anything but bland!


  1. Oh yum to the tum tum!!

    My MIL made an awesome Black Beans and Rice which to this day I crave like the dickens. She was from Cuba so it was the real deal! ;)

    This is a must-do for muah!

  2. I love one-pot dishes...much easier clean-up! =D This one sounds like a real winner!

  3. Joe -
    Is the canned chipotle you mention packed in adobo sauce? I looked for bottled or canned chipotles today in the grocery and only found several canned versions packed in adobo sauce.

    This recipe looks like a wonderful winter comfort dish and I can't wait to try it!

    Cindy, chilly in Indiana

  4. MB - Enjoy!

    RoyaL - Let us know if you make it.

    Cindy - Yes, canned in adobo sauce! You'll see that already noted in the link to the recipe.

  5. Oh, yeah! This looks like a dish I can get behind! Can't wait to try it!

  6. I like this less-dish-washing theme :)
    Both the chicken and rice look fantastic!

  7. What a beautiful presentation! I love chicken and rice, and this recipe sounds like a delicious way to kick it up a notch!

  8. KA - Enjoy it!

    DC - Thanks!

    Megan - It certainly was!

  9. I just made this tonight. it was delicious. It had alot of flavor. I will definitely be making this again. Thank you!!