Red Chile Chicken and Rice with Black Beans

This version of the classic arroz con pollo comes from Rick Bayless’s Mexican Everyday (NY: W. W. Norton & Company, 2005) 267-269.  I made a few changes to suit my preference for less meat for a quantity of rice and vegetables and I substituted my homemade mixed chile powder for his ancho powder. Except for that, this is pretty much right from the book. Enjoy!

Note that I make more black beans than I need for this recipe and save the rest for other meals. You can simply use a 15-ounce can of black beans, rinsed, instead.

Serves 2 to 4

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried black beans
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, about 1½  Tbsp. when minced
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 12 ounces total
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp. chile powder (not the stuff with salt and cumin in it)
  • Olive oil, about 1 Tbsp.
  • 8 ounces rice, a scant cup, preferably medium grain
  • 2 cups chicken broth or stock, I used giblet stock I made last time I cooked a whole chicken
  • 6 ounces broccoli florets, thawed if frozen, cut small
  • Chopped fresh cilantro to serve

Method

Rinse the beans and pick over to check for small stones then place in a pressure cooker along with one of the chopped onions and ½ Tbsp. of the garlic. Cook at high pressure for 25 to 30 minutes. If you do not have a pressure cooker double the cooking time (or use canned beans).

Season the chicken breasts with salt and half of the chile powder. Heat a Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium-high heat, film the bottom with olive oil, and brown the chicken for about 2 or 3 minutes per side. Remove to a plate and set aside to cool a bit.

Add the rice and remaining onion to the pot along with a bit more oil if needed. Fry, stirring constantly, until the rice turns opaque, 3 or 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and the rest of the chile powder and cook for a minute or so until the garlic is fragrant. Mix in the broth and ½ tsp. salt. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low, cover, and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.

Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces (they will not be cooked through, that is ok at this point) and add to the rice along with 2 cups of the black beans. Stir to combine. If the mixture seems too dry add a bit of the cooking water from the beans, more stock, or water. Re-cover and cook on low heat for 10 minutes. Fold in the broccoli and cook for another 5 minutes. Serve hot garnished with cilantro.

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