Mexico is easily recognized by its vibrant, great culture, and talking about that country without mentioning its wonderful cuisine is quite nonsense. Mexican people were able to create a mixture of flavors that always awakens anyone’s taste buds. Any successful trip to this Caribbean paradise will always include the discovery of its local dishes.
Thanks to its pre-Hispanic heritage, and under the Caribbean and African influences as well, Mexican gastronomy became very diversified. Indeed, cuisine is an integral part of Mexican society and plays an important role when talking about Mexican tradition and culture.
Mexicans’ culinary traditions are very famous and appreciated not only by locals but by thousands of tourists and people from all over the world who also love them.
In order to dignify such accomplishments, UNESCO named Mexican gastronomy as Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2010.
Rice in the Mexican diet
Although the native peoples of this region have since long had a corn-based diet, the daily menu of Mexican cuisine includes a wide range of other ingredients such as chili, beans, avocado, tomato, tequila, and rice, later brought by the Spanish during colonization.
Nowadays there are a lot of rice variations and rice-based dishes. Mexicans have taken advantage of each one of them and proudly made them their own. We can see the magic touch of their gastronomy in dishes such as:
- Pudding rice.
- Poblano rice, tasty green rice.
- Red rice, Mexicans favorite side dish.
- Mexican-style rice.
- Mexican chicken and rice.
The list is long, but Chicken and Rice certainly is one of the most famous dishes in both Mexico and Spain, it spread across the continent over the years after Spanish settlers arrived on Mexican shores, and although its preparation may vary depending on the country, its essence remains the same: chicken, rice and veggies.
Would you like to add more flavor and spice to your culinary activity? Are you wondering which Mexican dishes to try at home? We recommend you experience what authentic Mexican cuisine is with this easy chicken and rice recipe.
Real Mexican Chicken and Rice
Although the name of this dish may suggest what the main ingredients to prepare this recipe are, you will also need to gather a few extra ones, here is the list:
- ¼ cup of olive oil.
- 1 ½ lb. of chicken thighs, boneless and cut into one-inch pieces.
- 1 teaspoon of salt.
- ½ cup of diced onions.
- 1 Poblano pepper in small cubes.
- 2 Serrano peppers (chop only one of them).
- 2 diced carrots.
- 12 corn tortillas, if desired.
- 6 slices of lemons, if desired.
- 2 cups of homemade or purchased sauce, if desired
- 1/3 cup of chopped cilantro, if desired.
- 3 chopped garlic cloves.
- 3 Roma tomatoes in cubes.
- 3 cups of chicken stock.
- 1 teaspoon of cumin.
- 1 tablespoon of granulated chicken broth flavored with tomato or chicken.
- 2 cups of zucchini in small cubes.
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder.
- ½ teaspoon of smoked paprika.
- ½ teaspoon of pepper.
- 1 ½ cups of long-grain rice.
Once you have all the ingredients on hand, you have to carefully follow the instructions step by step, so you can get the most out of this recipe. Here are the steps:
- While heating the oil over medium heat in a heavy saucepan, season the chicken with the first four spices on the list.
- Cook each side of the chicken thighs for 3 minutes and remove them from the pan. Take roughly 1½ tablespoon of the leftover oil out of the pan.
- Toast the rice in the same pot for 3 minutes. Add the chopped carrots and onion, along with the poblano and serrano pepper cubes. Cook for 3 minutes.
- Now add the garlic and the tomatoes, stirring carefully to incorporate. Cook for about 1 more minute.
- Bring the broth to a boil. Taste for salt, then decrease the heat slightly and add the chicken pieces to the saucepan, evenly dividing them.
- Add the whole serrano pepper to this mixture, and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, covered. Add the diced zucchini on top, making sure not to touch the rice.
- Continue to cook, covered, until the liquid has been absorbed. Turn off the heat and put aside for 10 minutes.
- Before serving, stir the rice with a fork and mix in the zucchini.
- Serve yourself a good portion and enjoy!