Thursday, March 5, 2009
Every once in a while, a meal comes along that really surprises you. Those types of meals are not typically casseroles, but today ladies and gentlemen, prepare to be surprised.
Baked Chicken and Rice with Black Beans is a fantastically easy and simple main dish. The ingredients are all easy to find and you get four of your food groups all in the same dish. You've got your rice, your meat/beans, cheese, and veggies.
But let's not make any mistakes here - this doesn't count as healthy food. Perhaps it would if we weren't using 2 whole cups of Monterey Jack cheese. I suppose you could cut back on the cheese, but I didn't go that route. I wanted all that flavor.
You begin by chopping up your green peppers, carrots and onions. Sauté them in oil for about 10 minutes.
Cook your yellow rice according to the package directions.
Mix all of the ingredients, pour into a casserole dish and top with cheese. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. Uncover and cook for another 10 minutes to allow the cheese to melt. This is key - you want that gooey, melted goodness.
My husband took one bite and remarked, "Oh WOW." Let me just clarify that my husband is a fan of my cooking... but it's very rare that I get such an enthusiastic response to things. It was incredibly good. I'll be making this A LOT. Not only is it wonderfully good, but it's really easy too. I love that.
Baked Chicken and Rice with Black Beans
(from Southern Living)
10-oz. package yellow rice mix
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
10-oz. can diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained
2 cups (8 oz.) grated Monterey Jack cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare rice according to package directions.
2. Meanwhile, sauté onion, bell pepper, and carrot in hot oil in a medium skillet over medium heat 10 minutes or until tender.
3. Combine hot cooked rice, onion mixture, chicken, beans, diced tomatoes and chiles, and 1 and 1/2 cups cheese in a large bowl. Spoon into a lightly greased 3-quart or 13x9-inch baking dish; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.
4. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes; uncover and bake 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.