Southwest Spiced Chicken and Rice
Our Southwest chicken and rice recipe is a spicy twist on the concept of a traditional chicken and rice casserole.
We've breaded boneless chicken breasts with a zesty mix of cornmeal, breadcrumbs and Southwest seasoning, then served them atop a medley of white rice, corn, scallions and cilantro.
To complete the meal, serve with a salad or a simple vegetable side like buttered green beans.
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons Southwest seasoning blend (see notes)
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
For the rice:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup onion, chopped
- 1 cup long grain white rice
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
- 3 scallions, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- Lightly pound the chicken pieces between 2 sheets of plastic wrap until they are a uniform thickness of about 1/2-inch. Lightly season both sides with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Next, prepare the rice. Heat the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent, 2 minutes. Add the rice and toss to coat with the butter, then add the broth, increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender. Remove from the heat, stir in the corn and scallions, cover to keep warm and set aside.
- While the rice cooks, combine the cornmeal, breadcrumbs and seasoning mix in a shallow dish (a pie plate works well).
- Whisk the egg and milk together in a separate shallow dish. Dip the chicken pieces in the egg mixture, turning several times to coat. Allow the excess egg to drip off, then coat the chicken in the cornmeal mixture, pressing gently to ensure that the crumbs adhere.
- Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken in a single layer and cook, turning several times, until the exterior is crispy and the chicken is cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.
For this recipe we used Southwest Seasoning from McCormick Gourmet Blends, a flavorful combination of chipotle peppers, paprika and garlic.
We've also made our own Southwest-inspired spice blend as follows: Combine 1 teaspoon each of salt, paprika, ground cumin and garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon each of onion powder and freshly ground black pepper and 1/4 teaspoon (or more to taste) cayenne.