Chipotle Chix

After many, many weeks of trying to empty our fridge and freezer, I finally allowed myself to do some major grocery shopping recently. As I was making my list for the store, I really tried to thumb through some of my many cooking magazines (which unfortunately I don’t cook from nearly enough) to find some recipes to make. This chipotle chicken and rice was one of the recipes I selected from the most recent issue of Everyday Food. It’s got a relatively short ingredient list and though it does cook for over an hour, the hands-on time is minimal.

Chipotle Chicken

This dish was a huge hit at our house! As we were eating it Shane said he wanted to have it at least once a week. A few minutes later (after I mentioned how cheap it was to make), he revised his statement and declared that he wanted it 2 or 3 times a week. While I also really enjoyed it, I think once a week is my limit! One of the highlights of the dish for me was the chicken. By the end of the cooking time, I could practically shred it with my fork and it had absorbed so much flavor from the other ingredients. The note above the recipe in the magazine mentions “subtle heat” from the chipotle chiles. I’m not sure I agree – I thought it was pretty spicy, but I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to heat so you’ll have to try it for yourself to see what you think!

Chipotle Chicken and Rice
from Everyday Food, July/August 2009

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 2 pounds total)
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo, minced
2 large tomatoes, diced large (I used one 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes, drained)
1 cup long-grain white rice
lime wedges, for serving (optional)
chopped cilantro leaves, for serving (optional)

In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Season chicken on both sides with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Working in batches, brown chicken on both sides, about 6 minutes total. Transfer the chicken to a plate.

Reduce heat to medium. Add onion and saute until soft, about 5 minutes, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pot (if necessary, add a bit of water to release browned bits).

Add garlic, cumin and chiles; cook until garlic is soft and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and 1 teaspoon salt and cook until tomatoes begin to break down and release their juices, about 3 minutes. Stir in 1 cup water and return chicken and any accumulated juices to pot. Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook 25 minutes.

Remove several pieces of chicken and stir in rice, making sure it is completely submerged in liquid. Replace chicken, cover, and cook until rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed, 25 to 30 minutes more. Serve with lime wedges and cilantro if desired.