Southwestern Chicken Bake

Author: Justin
Serves 4-6
1 lb chicken cutlets or tenders 2 links chorizo, minced
1 large bundle asparagus, trimmed and cut into pieces1 large onion, minced
3 cups low-sodium chicken stock2 cups rice
1/2 Tbl chili powder1/2 Tbl cumin
Oregano, basil (a healthy shake of each)Taco cheese, a cup or two

Cook the rice in the chicken stock.  Preheat oven to 350, and heat the Le Creuset pan in it.

While that is happening, saute the chorizo over medium-high heat until mostly crisp and rendered.  Remove from fat with a slotted spoon.

Saute the onion in the chorizo fat until getting a bit translucent.  Remove from pan.

Add a bit of vegetable oil to the pain, and heat until starting to smoke.  Sear the chicken quickly until brown on one side; flip and sear on the other side.  Remove from heat.

When the rice is ready, turn it out into a bowl.  Stir the rice, asparagus, chorizo, and onion together.  Add spices and herbs.

Take the hot Creuset from the oven.  Turn the rice mixture out into it.  Place the chicken pieces on top, and sprinkle the cheese over the chicken.

Cover and bake for 15-20 minutes.  Uncover, and bake another 5 minutes.

Notes and Variations

Really quite good the first time we had it, but this recipe involves several modifications.  Original used a full Tbl of chili powder, which proved edible but hotter than ideal.  Use a half Tbl instead, or a cooler chili powder.  Originally mixed the rice in the cool Creuset, but we wanted (and didn't get) a pallella-style crispness to the rice -- let's see if preheating the pan will achieve that.

Despite the chicken stock, the rice comes out a little bland.  Ideal would be a more concentrated stock, but be careful of getting too salty -- possibly a bit of extra boullion mixed in with the low-sodium stuff.

There is lots of room to fiddle with the details here to get variations of this base recipe.  Peas, corn or carrots ought to work fine as part of the vegetables.  A good cut of whitefish (tilapia, maybe) should do well for the protein unit, as might scallops.  Substitute chinese links for the chorizo, and hoisin/oyster sauce with chinese spices for the spice mixture, and you probably get a nice variation of fried rice.


One of Justin's "this seems like it should work" inventions, inspired by having the chicken, asparagus and chorizo in the house.