RECIPE: Chicken and Other Stuff Over Rice
When I started making dinner this past Sunday night, I wasn’t setting out to write my post for the week. I just wanted to make something easy that was made of ingredients from my pantry/fridge, and could feed me lunches for the rest of the week. So I was well into the cooking process when it occurred to me that maybe I should be taking photos and mentally writing a blog post in my head.
I got a new camera last week. By “got a new camera” I mean that my sister, who is a fantastic photographer (even if her photos tend to be pug-related), is letting me borrow her least fancy camera (a Nikon D80, which is still fancier than any camera I’ve ever used in my life). I don’t know much about cameras. When I took photography in high school, I was far too busy attempting, and failing, to flirt with a cute boy in my class, which left with me zero camera knowledge. On the other hand, he and I worked on out final project together, which was a serious of photographs of him dressed up like a king. We got an A. I think the photos are in a box somewhere. I took the opportunity this week to try out the new camera…I’ll get better, I promise.
I love rice and beans. Together they make a hearty, and healthy, meal. You can use any kind of beans and add whatever sounds good at the moment. So on Sunday when I was searching through my pantry for dinner ideas, I came across a can of black beans, a can of diced tomatoes, and rice, so I put together a plan. I cooked brown rice in chicken broth instead of water to give it a bit more flavor. I decided that sauteing some chicken in hot sauce (Cholula!!) and then adding all the other ingredients would be delicious. And it was.
Of course I started with cooking some onions. Duh. I had a red bell pepper in the fridge, so I threw that in as well. Earlier that morning, I had taken my roommate, Amy, for a post-birthday breakfast at Cracker’s & Co, one of our favorite breakfast places. I got a fabulous omelet that had bell peppers…green bell peppers. I don’t even know why green bell peppers exist. They’re awful. I hate them. I don’t care if they’re cheaper at the store, they have an awful taste.
This a versatile dish. You can use a any kind of beans you want and add different spices. I personally prefer black beans, but I also love pinto and kidney beans. I always go for brown rice, because as I’ve gotten older I’ve discovered that white rice doesn’t taste as good (unless it’s for gumbo, which I’ll get to at some point, gumbo is my only white rice exception). You can throw pretty much anything into rice and beans and it will be delicious.
For example, the other day, while I was eating my leftovers, I noticed one of my co-workers, Sarah, had a similar dish for lunch, but her rice and bean concoction had tofu and teriyaki sauce, which was likely made by her super awesome husband. I was jealous of her tofu. Really, I was. Here’s your Manda Fun Fact for the day: I’m allergic to soy. I used to not be, I used to have a soy latte every morning and I could eat tofu and edamame all day long. Then, on the first day of new teacher training eight years ago, I had pad thai with tofu in it and my body got really mad. Then I had a soy latte the next day and my body got mad. Since then any time I have soy my body freaks out. I would love to add tofu to this, deliciously firm and wonderful tofu, but I get chicken instead.
While I was finishing putting everything together, Amy was experimenting with the new camera. She took this ridiculously cute picture of Toby. He either really likes the new owl dishtowel, or he likes the smell of dinner. Either way, I love that stupid cat.
I also asked her to take the final result picture of dinner, while I started cleaning up the kitchen. After several shots, she commented, “This looks boring. You should have added some color. Maybe some green bell peppers.” I told her to go to hell.
Rating: The initial result was a 3 of 5 glasses of delicious red wine, but on repeat servings I’d up it to a 4 out of 5. The flavors melded better throughout the week as the hot sauce became more pronounced. I’d definitely do this again.
|Chicken and Other Stuff Over Rice|
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1 can black beans
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1/2 diced onion
- 1 diced bell pepper
- Rice of your choice, cooked in a manner of your choosing
- Hot sauce (Cholula!!)
- Cheese, if you want
- Start cooking rice.. Brown rice usually takes 30-40 minutes.
- In a large skillet, cook onions and peppers together until translucent. Pour into a dish, set aside.
- In the same skillet, add raw chicken with your desired amount of hot sauce. Start with a few dashes, you can always add more later, but you can’t take away.
- When chicken is almost cooked through, add beans, tomatoes, and the onions/bell pepper mixture. Cook until heated through and the chicken is cooked. Simmer until the rice is finished.
- Taste, add more hot sauce, if necessary, and salt/pepper.
- Serve over rice. Add cheese if you like.