Since I am without any back teeth right now during all my dental work I need soft foods to eat. Last night I tried to make up something new, Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice. This was super easy to make and all in one skillet in less than 30 minutes. Hubby and I like different spice levels, I prefer hotter, he prefers milder, but this was just right for both of us. For me, the rice and chicken were all soft enough that I could still easily eat this but it was still real food! The salsa adds just the right amount of heat. Salsa verde is a green salsa, I used Pace Garlic and Lime Verde but you could use your own homemade or favorite store bought salsa verde or you could even change this and make it with a traditional red salsa if you prefer.
Sometimes casseroles (hotdish, goulash, whatever you call them) can be a bit one note. For this reason I suggest adding different toppings after it is cooked to brighten up the flavor. I sliced up an avocado and sprinkled it with a bit of lime, grated a little sharp cheddar cheese, chopped up some fresh cilantro, and included sour cream on a garnish plate. Each of us added the toppings as we wanted to our plates.
Along with the chicken I used olive oil, salt, pepper, ground cumin, rice, chicken stock, and salsa verde. Those are the main ingredients and then just add the toppings, or not, that you want.
Add a little olive oil to the large skillet and then add the chicken, cut in bite sized pieces.
While the chicken was browning I added salt, pepper, and ground cumin. Cumin is one of my favorite spices and I use it often. It adds a smoky flavor but not heat.
Once the chicken is brown, add the uncooked rice to the pan. Do not use instant rice in this. Stir around to coat the rice and let it toast for a couple of minutes which adds a lot of flavor.
Add the chicken stock to the pan on high heat. Use your spoon to scrape up all those browned bits on the bottom of the skillet. These are packed full of flavor! The cooking term for those bits is fond.
Now add your salsa to the pan and stir well.
Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
Use a fork to fluff up the rice and you are done cooking!
Remember to set out some different toppings at the table for everyone to add as they please. I used sour cream, fresh cilantro, shredded sharp cheddar, and avocado. Other ideas would be chopped onion, tortilla strips, hot sauce, lime juice, and queso fresco.
Dinner is served! What do you think? Is this a recipe you would try? What toppings would you use?