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One Pot Mexican Chicken & Rice Casserole

  • Rice – ¾ cup, uncooked (short or long-grained), soaked in water for 30 mins
  • Chicken breast – 1, skinless and boneless
  • Olive oil – 2 tbsp
  • Onion – 1, large, finely chopped
  • Garlic paste – 1 tsp
  • Red bell pepper – 1, small, cut into small dices
  • Red kidney beans – ½ cup, cooked or canned
  • Corn kernels – ½ cup, steamed
  • Pickled jalapeno – 2 tsp, chopped
  • Paprika – 1 tbsp
  • Ground cumin – 1 tsp
  • Chili powder – 1 tsp
  • Monterey jack cheese – ½ cup, shredded
  • Cheddar cheese – ½ cup, shredded
  • Tomato – 1, chopped
  • Fresh cilantro to garnish
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  1. Poach chicken breast in salted boiling water for 20-25 minutes until it is cooked through and is completely white. Shred the chicken breast using forks and set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet (big enough to hold the cooked rice). Once the oil is hot, add chopped onion and sauté for few seconds. Next add garlic paste and sauté for couple of minutes.
  3. Next add diced red bell pepper and give a quick stir. Then add cooked red kidney beans, steamed corn kernels and jalapeno. Mix everything.
  4. Now add the spices – paprika, cumin, chili powder and season with salt & black pepper to taste (Go easy on salt as the both the cheeses are quite salty). Mix well to coat all ingredients with the spices.
  5. Tip in the shredded chicken breasts and mix them in. Then add the soaked rice and thoroughly mix with all the ingredients to keep an even distribution of beans and chicken.
  6. Add double the quantity of water than rice and bring it to boil on high. Then cover and cook on low until the rice is cooked – about 15 to 20 minutes depending on the rice you are using. If the water dries up before the rice is completely cooked, add half a cup more at a time and wait until the rice is cooked and all the water is absorbed; otherwise the dish will be too watery.
  7. Once all the water is absorbed, sprinkle the shredded Monterey jack cheese and shredded cheddar cheese covering the top of the rice.
  8. Sprinkle freshly chopped cilantro and finely chopped red tomatoes. Cover and simmer the casserole on low heat until the cheeses are completely melt.
  9. Once the cheeses are melt and incorporated into the rice, the casserole is ready. Serve the smoky hot Mexican chicken & rice casserole and enjoy!

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