We’re always looking for quick and easy weeknight dinners that appeal to our preschooler as well as us. With this recipe, you cook the Spanish rice and chicken together, and then add black beans and corn to the same pan (though it’s easy to separate them out for picky eaters who like their food in separate piles). Add more piles of chopped avocado, shredded cheese, sour cream, and salsa, and you’ve got dinner.
Recipe adapted from The Kitchn.
- 12 oz. Roma tomatoes (about 3 to 5), cored and coarsely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1/3 medium onion, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin, divided
- 1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
- 1 1/2 Tbs. vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cup long-grain white rice
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
- 1 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Sour cream
- 1 to 2 avocados, diced
Place the tomatoes, broth, garlic, onion, 1/4 tsp. cumin, and 3/4 tsp. salt in a blender and blend on high speed until smooth. Measure the amount of purée; you should have 3 cups. If you don't have enough, add more chicken broth or water.
Season the chicken with salt and the remaining 1/2 tsp. cumin on both sides.
Heat the oil in a 12" nonstick frying pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is fragrant and starts to crackle, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the tomato purée and bay leaves, stir to combine, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any stuck grains of rice, and bring to a boil.
Add the chicken to the pan, nestling it into the rice. Make sure all the rice around the edges is submerged in purée. Cover with a tight-fitting lid, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer undisturbed until the rice is tender and the chicken is cooked through, 18 to 20 minutes. Halfway through the cooking time, use a rubber spatula to push the rice at the edges of the pan into the simmering liquid so that it cooks evenly.
Check rice for doneness. Remove the pan from the heat. Transfer the chicken to a clean cutting board, scraping off any stuck grains of rice back into the pan. Stir the rice, sprinkle the corn over it, then add the black beans over the corn in an even layer. Cover again and let sit undisturbed for 10 minutes for the corn and beans to heat through and the rice to finish steaming.
Meanwhile, when the chicken is cool enough to handle but still warm, cut it into bite-sized pieces.
Stir the rice mixture to incorporate the beans and corn and remove the bay leaves. Taste and season with salt as needed. Serve with the chicken and toppings.