Thursday, September 27, 2007

Creamy Chicken Ole

This dish first came into existence way back in August, while I was visiting Denver. The markets there had TONS of fresh chilies to choose from, so I made up a creamy, spicy chicken dish. Really, this can be used as a dip for chips or burrito filling or a spread for the ever-useful ricecake. Make sure to really shred the chicken, you don't want huge chunks of meat in your dip.

Serves 3
35 minutes
-large saucepan
Quick and easy

1 to 2 chicken breasts
1 medium white onion
1/2 of a medium red bell pepper
1 to 2 favorite chilies.. I used jalapeƱos the second time around
3/4 cup uncooked white rice
2 ears of fresh sweet corn (or a can of sweet yellow corn)
4 to 5 medium-small fresh tomatoes, unpeeled
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 to 3 heaping tbsp. favorite cream cheese [-or- sour cream] -- I used Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
[1/8 cup mozzarella or cheese, optional]

1. Rinse chicken breasts off and place in large saucepan. Fill saucepan with enough water to cover the breasts. Begin cooking the chicken over high heat.
2. While chicken is beginning to boil, cut up veggies: coarsely chop up white onion. Cut the red bell pepper into 1/2 inch squares. Slice open the chilies and remove the seeds. Finely dice up the de-seeded chilies. Place cut veggies aside.
3. Once chicken has boiled for 10 minutes, temporarily remove breasts from the saucepan (leave the water). Shred the chicken -or- cut into small 1/4th inch cubes, then place back into the pan.
4. Measure out 3/4 cup rice and pour into the saucepan along with the shredded chicken/water. If you don't have enough leftover water already in the dish to cover the rice by about a half inch, add in a little more water.
5. Bring the rice to a boil over high heat. When the rice has boiled for 5 minutes, add in the chopped veggies. Stir to mix. Turn down the heat to medium and continue simmering the dish.
6. Again, while things are boiling: Shuck and rinse off the fresh corn. Wash off the tomatoes, don't bother peeling. Coarsely cut up the tomatoes.. large pieces are fine, since they will disintegrate when cooked.
7. By this time the veggies and rice should have simmered for an additional 5 minutes. The rice should be pretty tender and not much water should be left (pour out any overly-excess water). Add in the corn (cut it right off the cob and into the pan!) and chopped tomatoes. Mix. Add in the olive oil and garlic powder. Stir well. Continue to simmer for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally to help break down the tomatoes.
8. Now the dish should resemble thick rice soup/casserole. Remove saucepan from the heat. Measure out 2 to 3 heaping tablespoons of cream cheese and quickly stir into the hot rice dish. Also add in the white cheese if you desire extra-creamy rice. Serve warm over crackers, ricecakes, inside wraps or as a tex-mex rice bowl.

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