Once you've mastered the mechanics of this incredibly easy one-pot meal, you can change around the vegetables and spices to create seasonal, signature combinations, like mushrooms, peas, and thyme or carrots, broccoli, and ginger with a dash of soy sauce. Here, I chose more classic Mexican-inspired flavors to create one of Latin America's most popular comfort food dishes.
- 2 chicken breasts and 4 chicken thighs (or 1 whole chicken, cut up)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon finely minced of jalapeño
- 3 Roma tomatoes, diced
- 1 cup of long grain rice*
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano (or ½ tablespoon dried)
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ cup cilantro, chopped
- Lime wedges, for garnish
Cut the chicken breasts into 2 smaller pieces so that the chicken cooks evenly. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and paprika. Heat olive oil in large skillet and brown the chicken pieces on both sides, then put aside. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the drippings.
Sauté the onions, garlic, jalapeño, and tomatoes, and then push to the outside edges of the skillet. In the middle of the skillet, sauté the rice for a couple minutes, then add the water, and bring it up to boil. Stir in the oregano and bay leaves. Once it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to a low simmer, and add the cilantro (reserving some for garnish) and the chicken. Cover and cook on low heat for 25 minutes.
Garnish with the remaining cilantro and lime wedges.