Ever since I started my second job, it's been hit or miss whether I can participate in all the cooking and baking events I enjoy. Mostly, it's a miss from running out of time. My heart is still in it but sometimes the deadlines catch me unawares.
When I saw the chosen countries for this month's My Kitchen, My World, I instantly knew what I wanted to prepare for Mexico. I've been 'auditioning' one of the newer cookbooks by Rick Bayless, Mexican Everyday, and since nearly every recipe in that book sounds really delicious, I decided to choose one for this event.
Years ago, we would take family trips down into Mexico, so I have fond memories of the people, the food, and the sights. In Mexico City, the food was very sophisticated and continental. I ate my first ever cannelloni in a restaurant/hacienda just outside the city. I've never since had a cannelloni dish as good as that one, although it is one of my favorites.
Because I'm a native New Mexican, Mexican-style food is always near the top of my favorites list. I love preparing the rustic, country-style foods, and comparing the flavors and ingredients between the two cultures (New Mexican and Mexican). When I saw this particular recipe in Bayless' book, I knew I had to make it. I was not disappointed by the results, so Mexican Everyday will definitely go on my 'to buy' list. If you try it, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Check out the MKMW blog for other tasty Mexican dishes.
Red Chile Chicken and Rice with Black Beans (Arroz Rojo con Pollo y Frijoles Negros)
(Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless)
2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2 1/2 tablespoons ground ancho chile powder, divided
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup rice
4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup chopped green onions (or 1/3 cup chopped cilantro or 2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh epazote)
1/2 to 1 cup salsa for serving
Heat the oil in a medium saute pan. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and 1 tablespoon of the ancho chile powder. Lay them in the hot oil in a single layer, browning on each side. Remove to a plate to cool.
Add the onion and rice to the pan. Stir for several minutes, until the rice turns opaque. Add the garlic and the remaining ancho chile powder and cook 1 minute. Add the chicken broth and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir well. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and cover the pan. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut the chicken breasts into 1-inch cubes. After the 10 minutes are up, add the chicken and the black beans to the rice mixture. Re-cover and cook 12 minutes longer.
After 12 minutes, uncover and sprinkle on the chopped green onions and test rice for doneness. If the rice is nearly cooked, re-cover the pan and let it stand, off the heat, for another 5 to 10 minutes to finish cooking the rice.
Fluff the mixture and serve with salsa on the side.
In the cookbook, the author gives some alternatives for playing around.