There are many traditional Latin American recipes for chicken and rice, but this is a healthy take on a classic! This recipe is packed with flavor while being low in fat and lower in sodium. It is also a great source of vitamins A and C, and provides some iron and calcium too. This chicken and rice dish is sure to be a hearty family favorite.
2 bone-in skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound)
4 garlic cloves, chopped, divided
1 yellow onion, chopped, divided
1 tablespoon, extra virgin olive oil
2 small tomatoes, chopped
3 medium carrots, shredded
½ green green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, finely chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups white rice, uncooked
3 cups chicken broth, low sodium
1 tablespoon paprika, ground
12 pimento-stuffed green olives, drained and halved
2 tablespoons capers, drained
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
½ cup green peas, frozen
1. Place chicken breasts, 2 cloves of chopped garlic, ½ of onion with water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes until cooked. Turn off heat and remove chicken. Reserve 2 cups cooking liquid. Let chicken cool and shred by hand, discarding the bones.
2. Heat olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat and sauté the rest of the onion, garlic, tomatoes, carrots and green bell pepper for 2 minutes until soft.
3. Add shredded chicken and tomato paste, cook for 2 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring constantly for 1 to 2 minutes. Add chicken broth, reserved cooking liquid, paprika, olives, capers, bay leaf, cilantro, oregano and stir to combine. Cook for 2 minutes. Add sea salt.
4. Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat, uncovered, for 25 minutes or until water is reduced to the same level as rice. Add green peas on top of rice without stirring. Cover and let cook for 30 minutes on low, until rice is tender.
5. To serve, remove the bay leaf and plate one cup servings.
Makes 8 servings (1 cup per serving).
Nutrition Facts per serving: 250 calories; 4g fat (0.5g sat fat, 2g mono, 0g trans fats); 20mg cholesterol; 43g carbohydrate (4g fiber, 4g sugar); 12g protein; 270mg sodium; 90% Daily Value (DV) vitamin A; 30% DV vitamin C; 4% DV calcium; 8% DV iron.
– Stacey Antine, MS, RDN, author, Appetite for Life, founder, HealthBarn USA, director, HealthBarn Foundation, and recognized as top 10 dietitians nationally by Today’s Dietitian magazine for her work with HealthBarn USA.