Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Mexican Chicken Rice

The location of our apartment is just fantabulous, for it is at the heart of the city flanked by gourmet restaurants and swanky shopping malls within walking distance. Needless to say, we eat out a lot taking the opportunity of the convenience of the location. One of our favorite haunts for dinner is Chipotle Mexican Grill famed for serving tantalizing tacos and burritos.
I love Mexican cuisines and for a long time I wanted to try a Mexican dish at home. So to begin with, I started my experimental venture with something very easy in preparation; Mexican Chicken Rice. I believe whoever has a grasp of cooking pulao can cook this dish effortlessly. The process followed in cooking Mexican Chicken Rice is same as that of pulao, the difference remaining only in the ingredients used. Just as we cook pulao, conventionally, with milk or water in some cases, Mexican rice has to be cooked with chicken broth easily available in the market. For people not familiar with the technique of cooking pulao, let me phrase this as simplifying as possible: in cooking dishes like pulao or pilaf where rice is cooked along with the other flavorsome essential ingredients, one important factor to keep in mind is the water and rice ratio. Estimated on 1:2 ratios, normally, 1 cup rice requires 2 cups of water to get cooked. However, the amount of water might vary with the brand of rice you use; but having said that, essentially, more or less most of the rice gets cooked at 1:2 rice and water ratio. So get the quantity right and everything will fall in place smoothly.
For more recipes on rice, please click the links below:

Ingredients:                                                  Cooking time: 25-30 minutes
ü  1 1/2 pound boneless chicken (chopped into 1 inch cubes)
ü  2 cups of long grain rice
ü  4 cups of chicken broth
ü  1 medium size onion (julienned)
ü  3-4 cloves of garlic (chopped)
ü  2 cups of salsa (recipe written below)
ü  1 green capsicum (chopped)
ü  1 cup corn kernels
ü  Black pepper, taste wise
ü  Paprika, taste wise
ü  Salt to taste
ü  1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
ü  White oil for cooking
For Salsa:
ü  2 large tomatoes (chopped)
ü  1/3 of an onion (chopped)
ü  5-6 green chillies (chopped)
ü  3-4 cloves of garlic (chopped)
ü  Salt to taste
ü  2 tbsp lime juice
ü  3 tbsp olive oil
ü  1/4 cup of cilantro or coriander leaves (chopped)
1) Firstly, wash rice under running water repeatedly for few times. Drain the water and keep aside.
2) In a mixing bowl, prepare salsa by combining all the ingredients as mentioned and keep aside.
3) Heat oil in a wok or large cooking vessel. Add garlic and brown a bit. Add onion and fry till onion changes color to golden brown in color.
4) Add green capsicum and shallow fry. Add chicken cubes and shallow fry till chicken is no longer pink in color. Season with black pepper, paprika and salt. Mix in.
5) Add rice, salsa, corn kernels and chicken broth. Cook covered on medium heat till rice is cooked through.
6) Lower the heat to minimum and cook uncovered for 3-4 minutes. Let the water content completely evaporate. Turn the heat off and stir in shredded cheddar cheese. Cover the vessel and let the cheese melt in the steam built inside.
7) When cheese is melted, stir the rice gently to help cheese incorporate into the dish uniformly.
8) Serve hot.

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