I am going to squeeze in one last recipe before we wrap up 2018 next week. I mean, who couldn’t use a quick and easy dinner that is made in one pot, especially at this time of year? Better yet, the dish tastes even better leftover and can be transformed into the filling for a burrito with some black beans, salsa and guacamole. Who’s in?!
My recipe is an amped up version of a one pot Dominican-style chicken and rice from Ellie Krieger whose daughter attended a dual language school and was classmates with many students from the DR. Evidently her daughter loved the chicken and rice some of the students brought for lunch and begged Ellie to make something like it. Ellie created a simple, one pot recipe that I have had in my files for way too long. I made it last week and while it was very good, I thought it needed a few additions before I shared it with you.
I searched Dominican style chicken and rice and what seemed to be prevalent was the use of some sugar to give the dish a hint of sweetness. Many chicken and rice dishes also seemed to include some form of pumpkin or squash. They all used peppers and some used tomato sauce which others were more broth based. Most were made with skin-on, bone-in chicken. I decided that since this one-pot dish was really a departure from the DR chicken and rice recipes I was learning about, I was more comfortable renaming it.
Second, Ellie is a nutritionist and her portions are “just right”. That means 4 ounces of chicken to serve one person which, depending on who you are feeding may not be enough, especially if it’s growing children. It also felt a little light on the vegetables, particularly in relationship to the amount of rice in the dish. So, I increased both the chicken and the vegetables while keeping the rice constant. I also changed the recipe further by cutting the chicken into chunks after it has cooked and returning it to the pan with the rice. It makes a more attractive presentation and is easier to eat with just a fork.
Lastly, Ellie called for using “quick cooking” brown rice in her dish. Perfectly fine and I did purchase a box to use the first time I made the recipe. But, I was thinking that was unnecessary if I just took some brown or white rice from my pantry and par-boiled it for 5 minutes which is all “quick cooking” rice is after all. Why pay for something and add another thing to your pantry if you don’t need it! So, I’ve adapted the recipe for that as well.
The result is a more balanced dish that still has great flavor from Ellie’s spice mixture (with just a few tweaks). I also suggest that you squeeze fresh lime juice on your serving at the end and add some chopped fresh cilantro which also was a common theme among the Dominican recipes I reviewed. Maybe add some crumbled tortilla chips for a little crunch if you want.
My dish has been road tested by a few friends with positive reviews. My husband really enjoyed the adapted dish more than the original as well.
I can envision this One Pot Spicy Chicken and Rice working for lots of different occasions so I hope you have an opportunity to make it soon! You know where to find me so please let me know if you have luck with the recipe.
Until next time…