Tag Archives: rice

Spicy Taco Chicken Bowl

The “new” craze right now is creating recipes and putting the dish in bowls. At first, I wasn’t really into the bowl idea but it didn’t take long for me to realize I kinda liked the idea. Placing breakfast, lunch or dinner in a bowl helped to cut down on the amount of food we actually ate. I put less in a bowl compared to  how much I put on a plate.

One of my first bowl adventures was my Asian Bowl with Lollipop Lamb Chops. Not to brag too much but that recipe was a big hit with hubby. Now, he has another favorite. My Spicy Taco Chicken Bowl. This recipe was a little spicy with various textures and flavors that complimented each other. Although there are several components to the recipe, I think it is a very simple dish. Shredded spicy taco flavored chicken, crispy yellow rice, seasoned black beans and a mix of avocado and tomatoes. The hardest thing about this recipe is the wait time. Yeah, this one isn’t quick to make only because the chicken has to bake. While the chicken bakes about an hour all of the other pieces can easily be pulled together.

Even I couldn’t complain about having chicken again. Plus, I didn’t take the easy way out and make wingettes. Instead, I opted for chicken legs because they are meaty and you don’t have to take a long time to clean them like chicken thighs. Granted, I think chicken thigh meat is sweeter than chicken leg meat but it takes work to get thighs ready for cooking. Maybe the next time I make a Spicy Taco Chicken Bowl I’ll build in extra time and try it with chicken thighs. Whichever chicken part you choose (legs vs. thighs), I am confident you will enjoy my Spicy Taco Chicken Bowl. Healthy, Easy and Delicious!

Spicy Taco Chicken Bowl

Ingredients:

6 – 8 chicken legs washed

2 plum tomatoes diced

2 scallions diced

2 slices bacon diced

1 can black beans rinsed

1 avocado diced

1 pkg hot and spicy taco seasoning

½ stick butter melted

1 ½ cup water

1 ½ cup chicken broth

1 ½ cups white rice

1 ½ tbsp salt

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

½ tbsp ground black pepper

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp cilantro

½ tsp dried parsley

½ tsp onion powder

½ tsp Chile powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place chicken in a large bowl. Season with 1 tbsp salt, black pepper, Chile powder and all but 1 tsp hot and spicy taco seasoning. Add melted butter and mix until chicken is well coated. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray then place chicken in one layer in the baking dish. Bake for 1 hour until the chicken is tender and cooked through. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes then pull meat off the bone into chunks. Place chicken in a medium size skillet with ¼ chicken stock and remaining taco seasoning. Stir and let simmer for 5 minutes.

While chicken is cooking prepare the following:

Rice:

Rinse rice with cold water to remove some of the starch. Place in a microwaveable casserole dish with a pinch salt, turmeric, water and chicken broth. Place in microwave uncovered for 21 minutes until cooked. Remove from microwave and fluff up rice with a fork. Let cool for about 10 – 15 minutes. While rice is cooling cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp over medium high heat. Remove from skillet and drain on paper towels. Reduce heat to medium high and add rice and scallions to the bacon grease breaking up any clumps of rice. Let rice crisp up for about 3 minutes then stir and flip to crisp up the other side. Cook for an additional 3 minutes then toss in bacon and mix in thoroughly. Cook another 2 minutes then remove from heat.

Prepare Tomato and Avocado:

Place diced tomatoes and avocado in a medium sized bowl. Season with a little salt, ground black pepper, parsley and lemon juice. Gently toss with a spoon. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator.

Black Beans:

Place black beans in a small pot and add a little chicken broth. Season with salt, pepper, cilantro and onion powder. Cook over medium heat for 3 – 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

Bowl Setup:

Place crispy yellow rice in the bottom of an individual bowl. Add chicken to one side of the bowl then add the black beans along with tomato and avocado mix. Enjoy!

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Crispy Rice

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Whenever I prepare my Curried Fish dish I try to compliment it with a side dish that has a contrasting texture. I usually use cod when I make Curried Fish which is a very soft flaky fish. Sometimes I will pair the fish with crisp sauteed cabbage or I will prepare Crispy Rice which speaks for itself.

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A slight take on fried rice, my Crispy Rice reminds me of the kind of rice my mom used to make every time she had leftover perlo rice. I know you are saying to yourself “what the heck is perlo rice?”. Well, it is a southern dish my mom made by cooking rice in ham broth or chicken broth. Chicken and rice perlo is a very popular dish in the south but is found in slightly different versions across the world from Persia (pilau) to Turkey (pilav) to Spain (paella). Each country has adopted their own interpretation of this meat and rice dish. I have to be honest about my many attempts to make perlo rice. I have failed on most occasions. I have never been able to perfect perlo rice the way my mom does it. My attempts typically come out mushy (overcooked) or a little too al dente. I actually gave up on making perlo rice and just ask my mom to make it for me whenever I have a taste for it. One day I may try making perlo rice again but for now I am good with asking mom to make it.

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Back to my Crispy Rice. Like my mom I use leftover rice or I will make it early the same day I want to fix it and just refrigerate it for a couple of hours. The cold rice fries better than soft freshly cooked rice. In order to kick up the flavor in my Crispy Rice I add scallions, fresh spinach and crispy bacon. In my opinion, bacon makes most recipes taste great but cubed ham is also good in this dish so try whichever one you like best. I can almost guarantee that when you make Crispy Rice there will not be much leftover if any at all. This one will make the family clean their plates.

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Crispy Rice

Ingredients:

2 cups cold white rice

4 scallions sliced

4 slices crispy bacon chopped

½ bag baby leaf spinach

2 tbsp butter

1 tbsp olive oil

½ tsp cracked black pepper

cooking spray

Spray a large frying pan with cooking spray. Add butter and olive oil to frying pan and heat over medium high heat until butter is melted. Do not let butter burn. Add scallions to the pan and saute for 1 – 2 minutes. Add rice to the pan and break up with a spatula. Stir to coat rice with butter and olive oil. Let rice brown and stir every few minutes for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add bacon and spinach to the pan. Season with black pepper. Stir until spinach begins to wilt. Remove from heat and cover for 2 minutes.

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Red Beans and Sausage with Rice

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I promised my friend Girlie Girl that I would come up with a red beans and rice recipe she could make. I try to keep my promises although I have broken a few in my lifetime. Most of the promises were to myself but still I try to keep promises whether to myself or someone else.

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That being said, I did come up with a red beans and sausage recipe I think she and her hubby will enjoy. Like most of my recipes this one is made to tweak however you want. This can be a strictly meatless dish but I thought I would take it to another level by adding both andouille sausage and smoked sausage. Other Louisiana style recipes I have seen also include sausage or some type of ham. Since my family likes spice and lots of heat in my dishes I added the andouille sausage.

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Girlie Girl is from the mid west but I sometimes think she has the heart of a southerner. She enjoys down home cooking and seems adventurous when it comes to trying different foods. Truth be told I think her hubby does most of the cooking but she likes to eat which I appreciate.

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Red beans and sausage with rice is a great dish that becomes a great meal when you add a little corn bread on the side. Next time your family asks you what’s for dinner tell them red beans and sausage. They won’t be disappointed.

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Red Beans with Sausage and Rice

Ingredients:
1 lb andouille sausage sliced
1 lb smoked sausage sliced
1 smoked turkey leg or 2 smoked turkey wings
2 14 oz cans pinto beans undrained
2 14 oz cans pink beans undrained
1 medium onion diced
1 small green pepper diced
2 stalks celery sliced
4 cups chicken broth

Seasonings
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp cilantro
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp Adobo seasoning
1 tsp Cajun seasoning (optional)
1 tbsp salt
1 bay leaf
1 6 oz can tomato paste
4 slices of lemon (seeds removed)
½ jalapeno pepper diced

Place smoked turkey in a pressure cooker and cover with water. Add ½ of a onion sliced. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes to tenderize the turkey. If you are not comfortable using a pressure cooker, cook the smoked turkey in a large pot for 1 to ½ hours until the turkey is tender. Cool the turkey then pull the meat off the bone. Set aside and reserve broth from the turkey to add to the beans.

Add beans, veggies, seasonings, 4 cups of the smoked turkey broth, lemon slices and sausage to a crock pot. Add the turkey meat then stir to combine all of the ingredients. Cook on high for 2 to 3 hrs until the beans are tender and the sausage is cooked. Stir in tomato paste ½ way through cooking.

This dish can also be prepared in a large pot using the same steps as above. Beans and sausage will cook for 1 ½ to 2 hours or until tender.

Serve with brown or white rice.

 

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Stuffed Peppers with Sausage

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If you want a make ahead meal that is relatively quick to assemble, then stuffed peppers is the way to go. This is a one of those entrees that incorporates a meat, veggies and a starch all into the same dish. All you need to do to make it a full meal is add a nice green salad – or not.

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The great thing about stuffed peppers is that you can stuff them with whatever you like. They can be strictly vegetarian, stuffed with meat or seafood depending on your mood when you fix them. This recipe is made with savory sausage and rice. I have also stuffed peppers with crabmeat and shrimp using the same basic recipe but created a different type of sauce.

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One of the tricks to making stuffed peppers is to cover them with foil so that the peppers can steam. Otherwise, you may wind up with a pepper that is not properly cooked through or if cooked too long turns out soggy.

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Like I said in the beginning, you can make the peppers a head of time and either freeze them or let the peppers sit overnight. If you decide to make this dish for company, try using different colored peppers to brighten up your presentation. The meal will be both pleasing to the eye and delicious to the tummy.

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Stuffed Peppers with Sausage

Ingredients:
4 large peppers
1 cup rice (saffron, white or brown)
1 10 oz can tomato sauce
½ lb sweet Italian sausage
½ lb hot Italian sausage
1 small onion chopped
½ cup Mexican cheese
½ cup mozzarella cheese
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp basil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Boil rice in 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt for 20 minutes uncovered. Set aside.

Remove sausage from casing and brown along with onion in a large skillet. Drain off grease and add tomato sauce and seasonings. Cook for 3 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and blend in rice. Stir in Mexican cheese. Fill each pepper with rice mixture then top with mozzarella cheese. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray. Place peppers on a rimmed cookie sheet.  Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let the peppers rest for a few minutes before serving.

Serve with a side salad.