Why this recipe works: There are too many versions of chicken and rice to count; most of them are bland and boring and require more time than we’re willing to spend on such a simple dish. Our recipe stands out from the crowd since it is both fast and flavorful.
Browning the chicken (we opt for flavorful thighs) in the skillet before adding the other ingredients is a step in the right direction, then we swap out the usual broth for a Mexican-inspired combination of convenient canned green enchilada sauce bolstered with onion, cumin, garlic, and chopped poblanos. Chopped cilantro added right before serving gives the dish a final burst of freshness (and a little more green). Be sure to gently stir the rice and chicken occasionally to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the skillet. For more heat, you can add a minced jalapeño with the onion and poblanos in step 2.
If your family likes more heat, you can add a minced jalapeño with the onion and poblanos in step 2.
- 8 (3?ounce) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 onion, chopped fine
- 2 poblano chiles, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 (14?ounce) can green enchilada sauce
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup long-grain white rice
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12?inch skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Cook chicken until well browned on 1 side, about 5 minutes. Transfer to plate.
- Add onion, poblanos, and remaining 1 tablespoon oil to now-empty skillet and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add enchilada sauce, water, rice, and any accumulated chicken juices and bring to boil, scraping up any browned bits. Nestle chicken into rice, browned side up, cover, and cook over low heat, stirring every 5 minutes, until rice is tender and chicken registers 175 degrees, about 20 minutes.
- Stir in cilantro, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.
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