It's been awhile since I made one of our favorite meals, Chicken with Chile Cheese Rice, so I put it on the menu for this week. It was, hands down, the best version of this meal I've ever made. And it photogaphed beautifully:
But this meal comes with a funny story. After cooking the chicken I put the chopped onion, garlic and jalapenos into the pan and almost immediately I couldn't stop sneezing and coughing. When SP got home he started coughing, too. I don't know exactly what happened, but all I can think is the fumes/steam from the cooking jalapenos was irritating our noses/throats. It was like a cloud of spice was hovering in the air. I know some of the hotter peppers can cause reactions like this but jalapenos? I used four of them since we want some spice and I removed most of the ribs and seeds, but usually they're barely spicy so I must have gotten some real doozies. I was worried it would be inedible but it turned out perfect...spicy, but perfect. Be careful...even the milder hot peppers can pack a whallop!
Chicken with Chile Cheese Rice
Modified slightly from Cook.Craft.Enjoy
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into cubes
salt and pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced or grated
4 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped (leave some seeds and ribs if you like spice)
1 cup long grain white rice
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
3 cans (4.5oz) chopped green chiles, drained
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese (sometimes I use pepper Jack)
1 cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
Heat olive oil in a large frying pan (with sides at least 2 inches high) over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned but not cooked through. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
Add onion, garlic, and jalapenos to pan, reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring, 1 minute more, then pour in broth and bring to a boil. Boil rice 5 minutes, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover pan, and cook 20 minutes.
Return chicken to the pan and cook until rice is tender, liquid is absorbed, and chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in chiles, cheese, and cilantro until cheese is melted.