A really good friend of Eric's is Cuban. They are some of the nicest people I know and can make some of the best Cuban food I have ever eaten! I mean seriously for once in my life I don't mind staying out of the kitchen and letting them do their thing! Their food is so good that they opened a restaurant about a year ago and it is booming (if you are ever in the Beaumont, Texas area you should check it out)!
However, this Cuban inspired dish turned out great. Eric was a little upset at first that I was compromising the flavors of his beloved yellow rice but after one bite he couldn't say anything bad about dinner!
Cuban-Spiced Chicken Strips with Rice
Prep Time: 15 minutes Marinate time: 30 minutes to 4 hours Cook time: 25 minutes Serves 5
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried cilantro
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon chipotle seasoning
10 chicken tenders
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 large green bell pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 1/2 cups (or more) low-salt chicken broth
1 teaspoon paprika
1 (8 ounce) package yellow rice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Whisk first 11 chicken ingredients in medium bowl for marinade. Place chicken in large resealable plastic bag; add marinade. Seal bag; turn several times to coat chicken. Refrigerate chicken at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours, turning bag occasionally. Using tongs, transfer chicken from bag to 9x13 glass dish, allowing excess marinade to drip back into bag. Pour extra marinade over chicken and place in preheated oven. Cook for 25 minutes or until center is no longer pink.
In a large skillet heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil called for in rice. Add chopped onions; sauté 4 minutes, scraping up any browned bits. Add chopped bell pepper and chopped garlic. Sauté until onions are translucent, about 2 minutes. Mix in package of rice, stirring to blend with vegetables. Add 2 1/2 cups broth and paprika. Bring to boil, stirring to blend.
Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes or until rice is tender (add additional chicken broth a few tablespoons at a time if needed). Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Transfer rice and chicken to large shallow bowl. Garnish with cilantro and lime wedges (if desired) and serve.
adapted from Bon Appetit January 2007