Monday, October 17, 2011

Chipotle Chicken and Rice

Chipotle Chicken and Rice Square

This dish has gone through several incarnations, but its origins were in a dish called Pollo Estofado.  I liked this chicken and rice dish from my sister's ex, and made some changes for convenience and personal taste.  He served rice on the side in addition to potatoes in the dish; I was looking to avoid carb overload so I threw out the potatoes, and decided the green bell peppers should go too.  In the end, I browned the chicken with aromatics, then cooked the rice in the same saute pan -- the chicken ends up infusing the rice with its flavor.  Frozen peas are stirred in at the end and warmed through, adding a bright green.

But now I have one more revision.  Inspired by a similar Martha Stewart recipe I saw online that looked hopelessly fussy, I added chipotles to my dish for added flavor and heat.  The two chipotles made the spice level barely warm, so I would use four next time.  Point of reference: I'm a spice wimp, so if you like it hot you may want to amp it up with even more chiles.

Chipotle Chicken and Rice

I use thighs for this recipe, and if you want to remove the skin to be healthier you should do it at the end because it lends flavor to the dish.  Chicken leg quarters work well also.  Don't use boneless breast -- it doesn't impart enough flavor and could end up tough.

8 bone-in or boneless chicken thighs, skin still on
2 cups long-grain white rice
1 tbs olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 small tomato, chopped
1 tbs dried oregano
4 canned chipotles in adobo, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup frozen peas
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Heat a large saute pan with high sides over medium heat.  You can also use a Dutch oven.  Season the thighs with salt and pepper and place them in the pan, skin side down, and brown both sides for a few minutes.  Work in batches if necessary to avoid crowding the pan and steaming the meat.  You shouldn't need oil if your cookware is nonstick or enameled.  Remove the chicken to a plate.

If there is not enough chicken fat in the pan, add the olive oil. Add the onion, tomato, chipotles, and oregano.  Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until softened.  Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Add the rice and 3 cups of water, stir, and place the chicken thighs on top.  Cover the pan with the lid.  Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 25 minutes, until the rice is done.

Stir in the frozen peas until they are warmed through, and serve.


  1. I was feeling hungry by the photo and reading your description of this dish! I love how this dish has evolved to what it is now. With all the throughtful process this must taste so good! I love chicken and rice in one!

  2. My mouth is watering, right now, early in the morning!!! Looks delicious

  3. This looks absolutely amazing. Love the flavors and great one pot dinner.

  4. This looks great! I always love twists to classic recipes :)


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