Spanish style Chicken & Rice with a cool mint dressing

Spanish Chicken & Rice with Cool Mint Dressing

This was a Pinterest find and an excellent one at that!
The original recipe can be found at HomeMadeWithMess.wordpress.com. It uses some metric measurements, says “coriander” instead of “cilantro” and talks about some ingredients that are either not available in the States, or I just didn’t know what they are, so I took some liberties with it. It turned out to be one of my and my husband’s favorite meals!

Spanish Chicken & Rice with Cool Mint Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Juice of 1 + 1/2 lemon, divided
  • 2 Ancho peppers, sliced and divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dried Thyme
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper
  • 1 C rice
  • 2 C water
  • 1 cube chicken bouillon
  • 1/2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp ketchup*
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • 10 grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp dried cilantro, divided
  • 1 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped
  • 2 tsp cider vinegar
  • 3 tsp walnut oil**
  • 1 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • Mixed salad greens

Directions:

  1. Place the chicken in a sealed zip-lock freezer bag (squish out the air). Bash with a rolling pin until the chicken is an even thickness throughout. Add juice of 1 lemon, 1 ancho pepper, garlic, paprika, thyme and cayenne to the bag. Shake to coat the chicken well, refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Combine rice, water, chicken bouillon cube, red wine vinegar, ketchup, and hot sauce. Cook in a rice cooker or on the stovetop.
  3. When the chicken is done marinading, cook the chicken (including the marinade) for 2 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 162°F. Optional: Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces or slices
  4. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together 1 tsp cilantro, mint, cider vinegar, walnut oil and mayonnaise. Set aside
  5. When the rice is cooked, combine with 1 ancho pepper, juice of 1/2 lemon, tomatoes, and 1 Tbsp cilantro.
  6. To serve, spoon rice mixture over a bed of mixed salad greens, place the chicken on top and drizzle with the mint/mayonnaise dressing.

*The original recipe called for tomato puree, but I must admit I don’t know what this is, or where to find it, and I wasn’t about to open a can of tomato paste just for 1 Tbsp, so, embarrassed though I may be about it, I used what I had: ketchup. Turned out fine 🙂

**Walnut oil is something, I’m guessing, most of us do not have in our kitchens and it is not super cheap. I looked up other ways to use walnut oil and what I learned is that it’s best used in dressings and vinaigrettes, tossed with pasta, or in things like chicken salad, but it shouldn’t be cooked because the flavor becomes bitter. Here’s a recipe on FoodNetwork.com for Asparagus Salad with Walnut Oil Vinaigrette. So since walnut oil is useful elsewhere, I think it’s worth the purchase, but olive oil or other light-flavored oils will probably work just fine.

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