Black Pepper Chicken with Spanish Rice

I’ve been really crunched for time lately, and I haven’t really been eating well. Everything in my fridge is kind of aged, so I have limited eating options until I go to the grocery store. Using things I’ve found around my kitchen, I’ve found a successful, fast (and tasty!) meal for those on the go, like me!
First, you should have a thawed chicken breast, a bag of Basmati rice, a jar of your favorite salsa, vegetable oil or butter, and some miscellaneous spices. (Did I mention this meal only costs about $3 to make?) Even if you don’t have the ingredients on hand, a trip to the store should still cost under five dollars.

Spanish RiceCut your thawed chicken breast into fajita-type slices. They should look like strips. The only reason why I do this is because it cuts down your cooking time significantly. I actually even like to dice my chicken if I’ve got extra time and a sharp enough knife to do it effectively. Dicing helps with the ability to mix in your chicken with your rice if that’s what you’d like to do. I prefer to do it that way.

Next, get a large bowl and a large rice cooker and put a serving of rice in it. Raw Basmati rice serving for one is 1/4 cup, which expands after you cook it. It may not look like much, but it’s really filling. Put some water in with the rice, and then stimulate the rice around in the water until the water runs clear. Drain your rice.

Then, in one pan, drop about 2 tbsp. of oil or butter and work it around the pan, even the edges. As the pan starts heating, throw in the chicken pieces. Season them in the pan. I use garlic powder, salt, black pepper (a lot of it), and a hint of cayenne or curry powder to give it a kick. Make sure to keep the chicken moving around the pan so that it picks up all the flavors and doesn’t burn.

As that’s cooking, in another pan, put about a cup of water, a tbsp of oil or butter, and salt. Bring it to a quick boil. Then add your rice, and bring it back to a simmer, stirring occasionally.

About fifteen minutes into cooking, your chicken should be just about done, so remove it from the stove. Your rice should have absorbed most of the liquids at this time, so add about 10 oz. of your salsa and stir it throughout. After about five minutes, cut off the heat, let the rice settle. Then mix in the chicken and add a little sour cream. Inexpensive and delicious!

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