Tex-Mex Chicken and Rice Casserole with Chorizo
Makes 4-6 servings
Calories Per Serving: 100
In addition to being incredibly good for you, this completely vegetable-free casserole is also incredibly delicious.
1/2 pound chorizo
1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
4 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 teaspoons ancho chile powder (or chili powder)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 lime, juiced
3 cups cooked long grain white rice
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
3 cups coarsely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. In a large cast iron skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Brown the chorizo (look how below) until nicely charred and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove to a plate and set aside. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and 1 teaspoon of the ancho chili powder. Add to the skillet and cook on both sides until browned and cook through, about 15 minutes. Note: if your pan is big enough, you can brown both meats at the same time.
3. Add the butter and the onions to the pan and saute, scrapping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, remaining chili powder, cumin, salt, and flour. Cook for a few minutes, until the flour has become fully incorporated. Whisk in the broth and simmer until thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the cream, sour cream, and lime juice. Gently simmer over medium-low heat until thickened, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
4. In the meantime, cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes, and slice the chorizo. Carefully fold in the meats, cooked rice, and cilantro. Use the back of your spatula to even the top of the casserole. Sprinkle the cheese over the top, and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is melted, bubbling, and beginning to brown.
5. Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve straight from the pan.
To get a good color and crust on your meat, it’s important to dry it well with paper towels before you begin. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Coat your cast iron skillet or Dutch oven (it’s best to use a heavy pot or pan) with olive oil, and set it over high heat. Once the oil is nice and hot, add your meat in one even layer, making sure not to crowd the pan. You want each piece to get the maximum about of heat. Cook on the first side until very well browned—do not flip before (be patient). Turn the meat and brown on the opposite side. Don’t worry if the meat sticks to the bottom of the pan. Any wayward bits will only add more flavor to your dish later on. Set the meat aside in a bowl to catch all the juices—you don’t want them to go to waste.