I’m sorry I’ve been holding out on you for so long. I’ve been making this Red Chile Chicken with Rice and Black Beans for well over a year and I’ve not once had the opportunity to take a photo. Actually, I’ve probably had many opportunities but I can’t say that I’ve had the desire to have to wait to eat this meal while I take photos. It’s just too good. You see, it’s a simple one-pot meal of rice, black beans, chicken, chicken broth, and some spices. And somehow, these very basic ingredients are magically transformed into this amazingly comforting meal as they simmer together. A little smoky undercurrent of heat from the ancho chile powder (my favorite chile powder) sears into the chicken then infuses the chicken broth and rice and leaves you with an unforgettable meal. We sometimes serve this with some sour cream and a little shredded cheese on top but toppings certainly aren’t necessary. Mix-ins are good too – I had an ear of corn hanging out in the fridge and I sliced the corn off the cob and threw it in at the end – lovely! And if you consider serving this to company, which it would be perfect for on a crisp fall weekend night or for a game day Saturday or Sunday, I think some jalapeño cheddar cornbread or chile cheese bread would be great accompaniments. Regardless of how you decide to serve it, make this soon and thank me later.
I have successfully made this dish with brown rice but it takes twice as long as white rice to cook and needs about 1 extra cup of chicken broth. If you want to go that route, add the chicken back in after the rice and onions cook for 30 minutes. Aside from some improved nutritional value, I didn’t see any other benefit to using brown rice and since we so rarely eat white rice, I’ll stick with it in this dish in the future.
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 lbs total)
- 2 1/2 tbsp ancho chili powder, divided
- 1 medium onion, large diced
- 1 cup white rice
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions, roots and wilted outer leaves removed before chopping (OR 1/3 cup cilantro)
- 1/2 to 1 cup salsa or chipotle hot sauce for serving (optional)
- Heat the oil in a medium-large heavy pot (with a lid) over medium-high heat. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken breast with salt and 1 tbsp of the ancho chili powder. Place the chicken in the hot oil and brown on each side, 2-3 minutes. Remove to a plate, leaving behind as much oil as possible.
- Add the onion and rice to the pot. Stir for several minutes, until the rice turns from translucent to opaque. Add the garlic and the remaining 1 1/2 tbsp ancho chili powder. Cook one minute, and then add the broth and salt to taste. Stir well. When the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
- Cut the chicken breast into 1″ pieces. Add them to the pot along with the beans. Re-cover and cook 12 minutes longer.
- Sprinkle the green onions and test a kernel of rice. It should have no more than a hint of chalkiness at in the center, in which case you place the cover back on, remove it from the heat and let it stand 5-10 minutes. If it’s not cooked, cook for another 5 minutes or so.
- Fluff the mixture with a fork and serve with salsa (if using).