Less dishes = Heaven on earth. When you prepare a meal at home chances are you’re going to contaminate some china. Not only have you dirtied the plates and cutlery used during consumption, but you’ve mucked up the knives, the cutting board, measuring cups, spatulas, stirring spoons, and any number of other kitchen utensils who’s cleanliness was sacrificed on the alter of your delicious dinner.
I’m here to remedy all that… Sort of. Shy of eating off paper plates, or making your mother clean up after you, you will do another dish or two in your lifetime (or nine hundred). That being true, today’s post aims to provide a delicious single skillet meal with minimal clean up. Coming to you from south of the border, this Tex-Mex recipe is easy to make, allows for plenty of customization, and most importantly, dirties very few dishes. Let’s get cookin’!
One Skillet Mexican Chicken and Rice
3 tablespoons oil, lard, or avocado oil
2 medium chicken breasts, pounded flat -OR- cut to 1″ cubes
1 green pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 cup mushrooms, diced
1 medium zucchini, halved the long way, then sliced thin
1 cup black beans, liquid drained (about half a 16oz can – optional)
1 cup frozen, canned, or fresh corn (about half a 16oz can – optional)
1 cup salsa (pick your favorite, a good deal of flavor comes from here)
1 (7-8 oz) can diced green chiles
1 (10-12oz) can diced tomatoes and green chiles (i.e. Ro-tel)
1 1/2 cups white rice, uncooked (historically i’ve used brown rice and quinoa here as well, I just like white the best)
3 cups chicken broth (full disclosure: I used water because I was out of stock, turned out fine)
1/2 cup reserve water (may not use)
2 Tbsp lemon or lime juice
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese (for plating – optional)
sliced green onions, hot sauce, and cilantro (for plating – optional)
1) In large, 10-12″ skillet, heat 2 tablespoon of oil/fat of choice over medium-high heat.
2) Using meat tenderizer, pound chicken breasts until 1/2″ thick. Pat dry with paper towel and salt each side liberally. (note: if you don’t have a meat tenderizer or a kitchen mallet, use the alternative option below. I despise cutting raw chicken, so while this step seems arbitrary, it makes me a happier person. leaving the breast whole also helps develop fond—those flavor packed browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan after searing.)
2alt) Cut raw chicken breasts into 1/2″ cubes, pad dry, and salt.
3) Add the pounded, flattened chicken to skillet and cook until browned on each side. About 5min. Remove from skillet and cube.
3alt) Add cubed chicken and cook until browned. 7-12min total. Remove from skillet and set aside.
4) Now that chicken is removed, add bell peppers, onions, and additional tablespoon of oil/fat/lard, cooking until softened. About 5-7 minutes.
5) Add mushrooms and zucchini, cooking until edges of each are softened. About 2-4min.
6) Return chicken to skillet, along with remaining ingredients: black beans (optional), corn (optional), salsa, green chiles, rice, chicken broth / water, cumin, chili powder, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper.
7) Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15-17 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until rice has absorbed all of the liquid and is no longer al dente or firm.
8) In the last three minutes of cooking, if chicken stock is all absorbed and rice is still firm, add the reserve water. This step may or may not be needed based off how much of your salsa was liquid.
9) Plate it up and serve with cheese, green onions, favorite hot sauce and/or chopped cilantro.