MEXICAN CHICKEN BAKE
Jase and I LOVE Mexico with all our heart(s). We love their food just as much- maybe even a teeeeeny tiny bit more, which almost seems impossible. If I ever fall into millions (or on the run from police) that's where you will find me- and Jase, if he knows what's good for him. A cold beer in one hand, a kilo of guacamole & corn chips in the other- and a sour cream moustache thicker than magnum PI.
The Mexican's really do know how to enjoy life and have fun- and it comes through in their amazing food- it's full of fresh, zesty ingredients and little pops of flavour. Even though authentic Mexican is VERY different to our "Australian-ised" version, we still enjoy this Western take on Mexican chicken bake with grilled corn. I mean, show me someone who doesn't like sour cream and cheese- do people like that even exist? I've yet to meet one. Seriously, I'm not even sure I would want to, we clearly couldn't be friends.
Back to the recipe- I actually eat this without the chicken (I know- a Mexican Chicken Bake without the chicken you ask? I sure know how to live!) - but Jase eats it with chicken. So basically it's suitable as a vegetarian dish, just omit the chicken and add more beans. Easy! I also serve it with guacamole- if you can even call it that- we just halve an avocado, mash it in the shell and add lime, salt/pepper. The fruit of gods hardly needs any help, does it? I don't mean to be pushy, but TRY THIS RECIPE NOW. Oh, and enjoy!
MEXICAN CHICKEN BAKE:
3/4 cups of long grain rice
300g red kidney beans, drained & thoroughly rinsed
3 1 /2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander leaves
1 tablespoon oil (we use olive oil)
600 grams skinless chicken thigh fillets, unrolled
2 x 200 gram jars old el paso taco sauce (you can use any strength, we normally use mild)
2 cups grated cheddar
1/2 cup sour cream (we normally use light, as I cant tell the difference in taste anymore?)
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 Fahrenheit). Lightly grease a casserole dish (approx 7cms x 21cms). Cook rice. In the prepared dish, mix beans, 1 1/2 tablespoons of coriander, add rice and toss together. Lightly press into dish so they are reasonably flat.
Heat oil in fry pan over medium- high heat. Add chicken thighs and saute for 3 minutes, then turn over. Add taco sauce and cook for another 3 minutes.
To assemble, spread half the cheese over the rice. Arrange chicken thighs evenly spread on top we make sure some sauce gets through the rice by creating a few little tunnels. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 tablespoons coriander, then sprinkle again with cheese. Cover with foil.
Bake for 35- 40 minutes, or until the mixture is bubbling and the cheese is melted and slightly browned (remove foil for the last 5 minutes). Cut into 4 servings with a knife and scoop our carefully, trying to keep the layers in tact. Serve sprinkles with remaining coriander and a big dollop of sour cream.
MEXICAN GRILLED CORN- OPTIONAL SIDE DISH
- 6 ears corn, husked
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Cooking spray
- 1/4 cup low-fat or regular sour cream
- 6 lime wedges
- Preheat grill to medium-high.
- In a small bowl, combine chili powder, salt and pepper.
- Place corn on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; cook 12 minutes or until corn is lightly browned, turning frequently. Place corn on a platter; drizzle with sour cream. Sprinkle with chili powder mixture. Spritz with lime juice. You can also add some grated parmesan.
Oven Directions: If you need to roast the corn in the oven, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and place the corn (in its husks) on the middle rack for about 30 minutes.
* We always have these vegetable crisps on hand (pictured below) as they are a great healthy snack and even more amazing when teamed with guacamole. These are purchased from "Scoop" in Mosman- along with the nut and corn mix, also pictured. For more info: https://www.facebook.com/ScoopWholefoods
All photos by Belinda- www.outoftheoffice.com.au