Mexican chicken and rice is a delicious and easy dinner, perfect for any night of the week. The dish consists of juicy and well-seasoned chicken cooked with fluffy long-grain rice. The rice is infused with warm spices like cumin and paprika, as well as herbs like oregano and cilantro.
The rice and chicken are cooked separately, which gives you the flexibility to serve the rice by itself in case any of your family members or guests aren't fond of chicken. The rice has a delicious flavor and can be paired with any protein, such as tender ribs or baked salmon.
❤️ WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE
It's Mexican - If you have never tried Mexican cuisine before, you are missing a lot.
Not too spicy - I reduced the heat level, making the dish more palatable for everyone.
Easy to prepare - With simple steps, the rice will take 20 minutes to cook while the chicken is cooking in the oven.
Amazing flavors - The ingredients combine beautifully, making this dish exceptional and flavorful.
Longe grain rice - I find the basmati long-grain rice best for this recipe. The rice is cooked right and comes out fluffy.
Chicken - You can use any part of the chicken; you can also use chicken cubes. But it's best to use the thighs or legs since they have more flavor.
Red chili powder - We get a little heat from the chili powder, and it elevates the taste of the chicken.
Olive oil - This dish is all about combining the most delicious ingredients, and for that, we need good quality olive oil.
A blend of spices - We use black pepper, cumin, paprika, and more.
Chicken stock - Instead of ready-made chicken stock, I prefer to mix a chicken bouillon with hot water.
Making the rice
In a pan, add olive oil, and when hot, add the onion, garlic, and tomato; cook on medium-high until the oil separates from the mixture.
Add the remaining ingredients to the previous mixture, except the boiling water and rice, and stir for two minutes on medium heat.
Add the boiling water, and when it comes to a boil, add the rice. When it comes to a boil again, turn the heat low, cover the pan tightly, and let it cook for 17 minutes. Then, fluff the rice.
Making the chicken
In a bowl, add all the ingredients and mix well. I didn’t marinate the chicken, but if you wish, you can marinate it for 2 hours covered in the fridge.
Place the chicken in a baking pan. You can line it with parchment paper to prevent the chicken from sticking.
Bake for 40 minutes, then cover with aluminum foil and bake for another 20 minutes or until thoroughly cooked.
Add the chicken to the rice and serve hot.
The best rice is Basmati - Using basmati rice gives you delicious and fluffy rice. Do not use arborio rice or jasmine rice.
Soaking the rice - Soaking the basmati rice for 20 minutes makes the rice cook faster and evenly unless otherwise mentioned in the package's instructions.
Keep the skin and bone - The skin and bone of the chicken bring out a lot of flavor, but if you have to remove them, use a cut of chicken with a lot of flavor, like the thighs.
Save cooking time - You can sear the chicken on the stove top by adding oil in a pan and cooking the chicken until it gets a golden color, and then continue cooking the chicken in the oven.
Add corn kernels and black beans: Before covering the rice and while the mixture is boiling, drain the corn and black beans. If you are using canned, and add them to the rice, continue cooking.
Mushroom and bell pepper: Before adding the rice, add chopped mushrooms and bell pepper and saute for a few minutes, and then add the rice and continue cooking it.
More heat: Add chopped Jalapeño Pepper to the rice for extra heat.
🍽️HOW TO SERVE
This dish is best served with plain cold yogurt, but you can serve it with your favorite salad, too.
Refrigerate the chicken and rice in an airtight container for three days.
Freeze the leftovers in an airtight container for up to a month.
To thaw, place the frozen Mexican chicken and rice in the fridge for a few hours and then heat it on the stovetop or microwave it for 2 minutes.
📣MORE MEXICAN DISHES YOU'LL LIKE
⭐PLEASE RATE AND REVIEW
If you have tried this recipe and liked it, please give it a 5-star rating and leave a comment below with your experience!
Mexican Chicken and Rice
FOR THE MEXICAN RICE
- 1 ½ cup white long grain rice washed and soaked
- 1 teaspoon salt Adjust as per your taste.
- 1 medium tomato chopped
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- ¼ cup cilantro chopped
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 3 cups boiling water
- 1 cube chicken bouillon
SEASONING THE CHICKEN
- 4 chicken thighs with skin Read the notes.
- 1 ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon + ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
MAKING THE MEXICAN RICE
- In a pan, add olive oil, and when hot, add the onion, garlic, and tomato, cook on medium-high heat until the oil separates from the mixture.
- Add the rest of the ingredients except the boiling water and rice. Stir for two minutes on medium-heat.
- Add the boiling water and when the mixture comes to a boil add the rice. When it comes to a boil again, turn the heat to low, cover the pan tightly, and let it cook for 17 minutes.
- Uncover and fluff the rice using a fork and serve.
MAKING THE CHICKEN
- In a bowl, add all the ingredients and mix well. Make sure to coat the chicken with the seasoning. I didn’t marinate the chicken but if you wish you marinate it, cover it and leave it in the fridge for one to two hours.
- Preheat the oven to 390F/198C.
- Place the chicken in a non-stick pan, or you can line the baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper to prevent the chicken from sticking.
- Bake for 40 minutes, then cover with aluminum foil and bake for another 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked. The time of cooking depends on the size of the chicken.
- Add the chicken to the rice and serve hot. This dish is best served with plain yogurt.
- In the USA, some chickens are large, so instead of four, you can go for three chicken thighs.
- Chicken breast can work in this recipe, but it won't be as juicy. Although the bone adds more flavor to the dish and helps the thighs or drumsticks stay juicy, you can go for boneless thighs and drumsticks.
- You can omit the red chili powder if you are not fond of spicy dishes, although, with the red chili, this dish is considered mild.
- Risotto rice and paella rice won't work since both have more starch. Brown rice takes a longer time to cook, and the nutty flavor in the brown rice might take over.
- Depending on the tomatoes you have, if the seeds are bitter, it's best to discard them before using the tomato in the recipe.
- There are delicious variations for this recipe, and you can find them in the post.
- This post was originally published in 2017.