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…
One Year Ago: It’s a Wrap, 2017 (all the posts from 2017 condensed into one)
Two Years Ago: Cranberry-Jalapeno Salsa
Three Years Ago: It’s a Wrap, 2015
Four Years Ago: The Bourbon & Bubbles Cocktail
This one pot spicy chicken and rice has great flavor and all the protein, veggies and starch you need in one place. You can serve it directly from the pan, but leftover is almost better. It would be the perfect next day filling for a burrito! My recipe is based on one from Ellie Krieger, but I increased the chicken and vegetables while keeping the amount of rice constant. I also adapted the recipe to use regular long grain rice if you don't want to use the quick cooking rice she called for in the original recipe. Enjoy!
- 1 cup long grain rice or 1 cup quick cooking rice (white or brown)
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped into 1 inch pieces
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped into 1 inch pieces
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 large pimento-stuffed green olives, quartered
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- pinch of cayenne (optional and you can add more if you like)
- 2 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1, 14.5 ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes (with or without chiles), drained of excess liquid
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (see note)
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- Lime wedges
- Tortilla chips
- If you are using long grain rice (not quick cooking), bring a small pot of salted water to a boil. Add the rice and cook just for 5 minutes. This is par-boiling to reduce the cooking time once it's added to the chicken. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside. If using quick cooking rice, begin your recipe in step 2.
- In a saucepan that has a tight fitting lid, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and the peppers and a pinch of salt. Saute the vegetables until they just start to brown around the edges, about 5 minutes. While they are cooking, mix together the chili powder, cumin, onion and garlic powders, turmeric, salt, black pepper and cayenne if using. Set aside.
- After your vegetables have cooked, turn the heat down to medium and add the tomato paste to the skillet and cook until it is fully incorporated into the vegetables and has turned a darker color, about 1 minute. Add the garlic and all of the spices and stir for another minute.
- Add the broth, drained diced tomatoes, rice (either the rice you par-boiled or 1 cup of quick-cooking rice), and olives. Then add the chicken. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover and reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, remove the chicken to a cutting board using tongs. If the liquid in the pan has not cooked off, continue to simmer until the liquid has mostly evaporated. Cut the chicken into chunks and return the chicken and any collected juices back into the pan and stir so it is evenly distributed.
- Taste and adjust for seasoning. I added 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper to my dish.
- Serve with some chopped fresh cilantro. Squeeze some fresh lime juice over each portion for a pop of freshness. Great with avocado, black beans and even leftover as a filling for a burrito!
Tips from The Kitchen Scout
I have only tested the recipe cooking the chicken thighs whole and then cutting them into pieces before adding back into the pot. I do think the chicken remains really moist and juicy this way. If you cut up your chicken before adding to the pot, it may overcook and become tough.