Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Chipotle Chicken and Rice

Chipotle Chicken and Rice

When you're trying to save money there are two words that you want to avoid: Take. Out. And that's not because I don't like takeout. I do! Very much! But you see, takeout likes my wallet too much, and before I know it that wallet is empty. And that's a very sad thing when you're saving up for a new camera. (Anyone out there love their Canon 40D? What lenses do you have?) So there is only one thing to do: Make your own takeout. It's easier than you may think; I've already successfully created pizza and Chinese food so there was one obvious thing to try next - Mexican.

Chipotle Chicken and Rice

Sure, I've made tacos and enchiladas and salsa (even fried my own chips for that one), and it was all very, very good, but it didn't taste authentic. You guys know what I'm talking about; it didn't taste like something I'd order in a restaurant. (Except maybe the salsa. That stuff is good.) This dish, however, is fabulous. It makes you sweat a little (or a lot, depending on your tastes); it fills you up; and it's so darn easy it feels like cheating. The leftovers are great, which is good when you're trying to save money by taking your own lunch/dinner (in my case) to work. (That camera will be mine before I know it! If I ever decide what camera that will be....)

And since you've already got the limes sliced just pair it with a Corona. On the patio. With friends. Then sit back and enjoy the sweet sound of your savings account growing, growing, growing....

Chipotle Chicken and Rice

(Yes! We're back from the Crystal Coast! It was a great trip; I read four vampire books then proceeded to assume every pale person I met on the sidewalk wanted to suck my neck. Ahem. Thanks SO much for your well-wishes. So far, 30 isn't so bad!)

Chipotle Chicken and Rice
Everyday Food - Makes 4 servings
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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 2 pounds total)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo, minced
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced large
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • Lime wedges, for serving
  • Chopped cilantro leaves, for serving (optional)
Directions

1. In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Season chicken on both sides with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Working in batches, brown chicken on both sides, about 6 minutes total; transfer to a plate.

2. Reduce heat to medium. Add onion and saute until soft, about 5 minutes, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pot (if necessary, add a bit of water to release browned bits).

3. Add garlic, cumin, and chiles; cook until garlic is soft and fragrant, 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and 1 teaspoon salt and cook until tomatoes begin to break down and release their juices, 3 minutes. Stir in 1 cup water and return chicken and any accumulated juices to pot. Cover, reduce to a simmer, and cook 25 minutes.

4. Remove several pieces of chicken and stir in rice, making sure it is completely submerged in liquid. Replace chicken, cover, and cook until rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed, 25 to 30 minutes more. Serve with lime wedges and cilantro if desired.