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Easy Dinners

Got boneless, skinless chicken breasts? Here's a chicken and rice dish that puts pizazz into dinner.

Did you see last week's newsletter Pork Roast with Garlic and Herbs

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Arroz con Pollo

Arroz con pollo (Chicken with Rice) is a classic Mexican dish with many variations. This recipe, while delicious and satisfying, is very basic.

Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup long-grained white rice
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1-1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
  • 4-ounce can chopped green chiles
  • 1 cup roasted jarred red pepper
  • 1-1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 rounded teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10-ounce package of frozen peas or asparagus tips, thawed
  1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet. Sauté the garlic for a minute or so, and add chicken breasts to pan. Cook over medium-low heat, turning once, until browned, 5 or 6 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate, and set aside.
  2. In the same skillet, combine rice and onion. Cook until the rice is translucent, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, green chiles, roasted red pepper, broth, parsley, oregano, chili powder, cumin and salt. Return chicken to skillet; cover and let simmer for 25 minutes.
  3. Stir in the peas or asparagus and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.
  4. To serve, arrange chicken-rice mixture on a serving platter. Sprinkle with ground pepper to taste and garnish with avocado slices and lemon wedges.

Feel free to experiment by adding chorizo, black olives or fresh jalapeños, and additional spices. Arroz con pollo makes a fine meal for family or guests. While not "quick and easy" by today's standards (meaning pop it in the microwave for five minutes), it comes together quickly with little fuss. If you've been wanting to add Tex-Mex to your repertoire, this is a good place to start.

Kitchen tools you'll need: Dutch Ovens, Oval Platters, Skillets

More recipes:Baked Chicken Breasts with Saucy Vegetables, Tequila Chicken, Cream of Jalapeno Soup.

Lone Star List

Here are some things that caught my eye this week!

  1. Saveur: My Father's French Onion Soup
  2. Austin360: Vera's Backyard barbecue restaurant in Brownsville named American Classic by James Beard Foundation - Yay barbacoa!
  3. Two Sleevers: Instant Pot Tamale Pie
  4. NYT Food: A Texas Border Town's Booming Trade in Great Tacos - Brownsville has its troubles, but it's also starting to draw attention for its thriving collection of distinctive taquerias.
  5. MySA: Tacos, tequila and cerveza: A two-day festival celebrating all three coming to Fredericksburg in July
  6. Texas Standard: "Leaning Tower of Dallas" Goes Viral
  7. Bon Appetit: The Taco Truck That Saved My Marriage
  8. Marfa Public Radio: Underfoot in West Texas, A Mysterious World of Desert Ants and Their Uninvited 'Guests'
  9. New in the Book Pile!
    Smokelore: A Short History of Barbecue in America by Jim Auchmutey.

New Cookbooks We're Reading

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