A few weeks ago, I wrote about some of the foods I just can't bring myself to like. One of them is brown rice: it has never been my thing. A big part of that is how it makes me feel; I always seem to get bloated and uncomfortable with lots of tummyaches after eating it.
Finally, it occured to me: perhaps it wasn't brown rice that I objected to, but the preparation?
So I decided to try a couple of recipes including different brown rice preparations and lo and behold: I have found one that I LOVE. So much that I've made it three times already. That's affection, my friends. It is easy, healthy, cheap, and makes excellent leftovers. Win.
Tex-Mex Chicken and Brown Rice
adapted from The America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook, which as I've mentioned is one of my favorites.
8 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp hot sauce
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 onion, minced
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
2 jalapenos, stemmed, seeded, and minced (optional)
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed in microwave
1 cup peas, thawed in microwave
1 cup long grain brown rice, rinsed and drained
1 1/4 cups low sodium chicken broth
4 scallions, sliced thin
1 Tbsp lime juice
1. Adjust an oven rack to the lower position and heat the oven to 300 degrees.
2. Put chicken into a small bowl with half the garlic, 1 tsp of the chili powder, the hot sauce, a pinch salt, and a pinch pepper. Stir to coat and set aside.
3. Heat the oil in a large dutch oven or other oven-safe pan over medium high heat until shimmering. Add onion, bell pepper, jalapenos, and corn and cook until softened and lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the rice, remaining garlic, and the remaining 1 tsp chili powder and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Stir in the broth, scraping up any browned bits. Stir in the peas.
4. Lay the chicken on top of the rice. Bring to a simmer, cover, and transfer to the oven. Cook until the rice is tender and the liquid is almost fully absorbed, 50 to 60 minutes.
5. Pull the pan out of the oven. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Cover the pot and let the rice sit and steam for 10 minutes. Whie the rice is steaming, shred the chicken into bite sized pieces.
6. Stir the shredded chicken, scallions, and lime juice into the rice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.