Monday, September 17, 2012

Tex Mex Chicken & Rice (Not out of a box!) Very Easy (Recipe, pics)

I used to make this Tex-Mex Chicken and Rice recipe using Rice A Roni or something else in a box.  But the last time I made it I thought there has to be a way to do this with clean ingredients.  And I did it!  I had a little trouble with the rice, but I think I know why.  I'll get to that in a minute.

Here's what you'll need to serve 4:

12 oz chicken breast, cooked, cut up
1 C brown rice
2 C no fat, reduced sodium chicken broth
1/2 packet mild taco seasoning (Please see this post on clean, easily home made taco seasoning)
1 small can diced green chiles
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
3/4 C shredded cheese (use reduced fat for lower calories)
1 tsp dried, crushed basil
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp cornstarch mixed with 1 Tbsp water

I know the list seems long, but it's a lot of spices and little stuff.  Very easy to put together, so don't get intimidated by the list.  If you read my blog, you know by now that I don't do complicated.

Here's how to make it:

1.  In a pot put 1 Tbsp olive oil, heat it up over medium high heat and then put in the chopped up onions.  Cook the onions until they are golden.

2.  Add in chicken stock, taco seasoning, chiles, basil, chili powder, cumin, and pepper.  Bring to a boil.
3.  Add in rice.
4.  Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 45-50 minutes, or until rice is tender.  Stir occasionally.  Add a litle more water if it dries out.  Here's where I think I went wrong.  My rice cooked for an hour and was still hard.  I added water several times, kept it covered, and I couldn't get it to cook.  But the last time I added some water I turned the heat up to half way on the dial and it cooked well, so I think my "simmer" was too low.  You don't want to turn it up so that the rice sticks to the bottom of the pan, but in my case I think I had it too low because it wasn't cooking.
5.  While the rice is cooking, spray another pan with canola spray and cook chicken until it is no longer pink in the center.  Chop up and set aside.
6.  Add in cornstarch and 1 Tbsp water to rice.  Stir and let it thicken for 2-3 minutes.
7.  Add in chicken to rice.  Let it heat up for a minute or two.
8.  Add in tomatoes and cheese to rice.  Stir.

9.  Makes about 4-5 servings of 1 C.

My family really loved the taste of this dish, but there is an ongoing joke in my house.  They say that my cooking is delicious but that everything I make looks like cat puke.  lol  I guess it's because I like the one pot casserole type cooking where everything gets all mixed together in one dish.  Well, since I started this blog my dishes have been looking a little more gourmet, but with this one we were back to the "cat puke" look.  I know, it doesn't sound appealing.  But I think if you served it with more color on the plate, like with a fresh salad and maybe some parsley on top or something like that it would brighten it up a little.  But the taste really was fantastic.  You'll have to take my word for it.  Just try it.  I think you'll like it.  The seasonings give it really good flavor, the cheese and the little bit of cornstarch makes it thick and creamy, and the rice makes it very filling and satisfying.

I was a little surprised that when I did the numbers and compared the home cooked version to the boxed version, there was not a lot of difference.  Even in the sodium, and that was due to the taco seasoning.  If you want you could even go online and look for a home made taco seasoning mix and eliminate the sodium that way.  But the difference is that this way is cleaner eating.  There is nothing but whole foods here (except maybe the taco seasoning packet).  And that's one of my eat cleaner and greener and stay away from processed foods as much as possible.  In that endeavor I was successful.  And I was also successful at making an excellent home made version of what comes out of a box...tastier even.

Don't be put off by my "cat puke" story. lol  This Tex-Mex dish is delicious.  Go ahead and give it a try!

Here's the nutritional info (1 C rice with 3 oz chicken):  376 calories, 8.5g fat, 3.6g saturated fat, 92mg cholesterol, 933mg sodium, 178.5mg potassium, 36.5g carbs, 2g fiber, 34.8g protein. (9 Points Plus)

Buen Apetito!
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1 comment:

  1. I was really getting hungry until you talked about cat puke! I had to clean some up in the middle of the night so it's on my mind still! It does sound like a good recipe though, I think I'll try it one of these days.


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