There’s something about Mexican food that makes me weak in the knees. I find photos of fresh salsas, pico de gallo, homemade tortillas, and fresh, grilled meats very enticing. I adore chicken, Mexican spices, and the combination of chiles, beans and rice. When I saw the recent issue of BHG’s Ultimate Mexican magazine in the grocery store line, I grabbed it, flipped through it quickly, and added it to the conveyor belt. There are so many things I want to try from its mouth watering pages!
Tonight we had the Spicy Grilled Chicken with Baja Black Beans and Rice and it did not disappoint. The rice is delicious, doesn’t call for any added salt, and doesn’t need it due to the wonderful array of flavors already in it. The rub is very tasty, though the word “spicy” in the title can be misleading. Many people use the word “spicy” as a synonym for “hot”, when spicy really means “to be flavored with spice”. The rub is full of wonderful spice flavors, but is not hot, so even kids will enjoy it.
Sorry for the cruddy pictures. It’s been very rainy here today and the clouds stole my daylight early. I promise you it tastes wonderful!
1) Get your grill preheated first. Don’t start your rice until you are ready to place your chicken on the grill. You will be able to complete the rice dish in about the same amount of time as it takes to grill your chicken.
2) You can have this on a weeknight, even if you are in a hurry. Chop the zucchini, measure out the rice, measure the corn into a zipper bag to keep in the freezer, etc. You can put the rub on the chicken the night before and keep in the refrigerator until the following evening. Grill time and cooking the rice is less than half an hour!
3) If you have a preferred method of grilling, by all means, use it. I have included the method I use, which produces wonderful grill marks and delicious, juicy meat. This same method is used in my grilled garlic lemon chicken breasts.
4) While I did pretty much follow the recipe from the magazine, I doubled everything in their spice rub mixture as I had some rather large boneless chicken breasts this time and the original amount just wasn’t enough. Doubling it was perfect.
5) I used my homemade chicken stock. Because I reduce it down, I added water to equal the amount needed.
Spicy Grilled Chicken with Baja Black Beans and Rice
from BHG Ultimate Mexican Magazine
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
4 large skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 cups frozen whole kernel corn
1 14-oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes,undrained
1 1/4 cups long grain rice, uncooked
1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1 4-oz can diced green chile peppers
1 cup chopped zucchini
1 tablespoon snipped fresh cilantro
Combine the chili powder, ground cumin, garlic and onion powders, and paprika in a small bowl. Trim the chicken breasts, rinse and pat them dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the spice mixture evenly over both sides of the chicken breasts. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until 15 minutes before you are ready to grill.
Preheat the grill on high, covered, for about 15 minutes. Open lid and clean grate with grill brush. Turn the grill temperature down to medium-low. Wad up a couple pieces of paper towel and grab the wad with a pair of tongs. Dip the wadded paper towel into some vegetable oil, then using the tongs, brush the grates with the oiled paper towel.
Place the chicken onto the grill and cover with a disposable aluminum pan, or close the lid. Allow to cook for 6-8 minutes, long enough to create nice grill marks. Turn the breasts over and cover with aluminum pan for 6-8 minutes more. Turn grill temperature down to low and keep lid closed, cooking chicken several minutes more until internal temperature reaches 165 and juices run clear. Place chicken on cutting board and let it rest for five minutes before slicing.
In a 4-quart Dutch oven combine the chicken broth, corn, undrained tomatoes, rice, beans and green chile peppers. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 12 minutes. Stir in zucchini, replace cover and cook for 5 minutes more, until zucchini is tender crisp. Remove from heat, stir in cilantro.