Update: I won!! Thanks so much to Cacique for choosing my recipe as the Cacique Cook-Off Challenge Winner.
I am not one to back down from a challenge.
You all know that about me, right?
So even though my arms are aching from scraping all the linoleum off the back porch last night and I packed too much stuff in a too big box which I now have to unpack into smaller boxes because no one (not even my husband) can lift it, I am bringing you a cooking challenge today because, well, I love a little healthy competition now and then.
Here’s the deal: Each blogger was given a list of 10 different ingredients. We must use at least 4 ingredients from the list (2 being Cacique’s especially delicious selection of authentic Mexican products made with fresh and natural ingredients, such as Grade A milk and sea salt.). The more assigned ingredients we use, the higher our score will be. The winner will be selected based on creativity and use of product.
My list included:
- Cacique Oaxaca cheese
- Cacique Crema Mexicana Agria
- Navy Beans
- Red or White Wine
- Long-Grain Rice
Just for the record, I’d like everyone to know I used ALL 10 ingredients and came up with something incredible that you are going to want to make….like tonight! Did I win?
Chicken and rice is the gluten-free comfort food of the Gods and this version with it’s toothsome beans, tangy crema, and bubbly browned cheese on top is an indulgent and satisfying way to end a Monday night. Plus everything is made in one pan so clean-up is even fairly painless.
All the ingredients get simmered low and slow on the stovetop for about 20 minutes or until the rice is tender. There will still be a considerable amount of sauce but that will get soaked up by the beans and rice after it rests a few minutes. Then you unroll your wheel of Oaxaca cheese. Have you ever used Cacique Oaxaca cheese before?
It is a mild, creamy cheese that is semi-soft and excellent cut into fresh tomato salad but also melts like a dream, so let’s do that this time. Unravel the roll of cheese like you would the layers of a cinnamon roll and lay the silky rope on top trying to cover as much area as possible.
This goes under the broiler for a few minutes until the cheese is melted and blistered.
Make yourself a nice, crisp salad, pour a glass of wine and breathe out. If I don’t win this contest, at least you won at dinner. I consider that victory!
For more recipes using Cacique’s extensive line of Mexican style cheeses, creams, chorizos, and yogurt smoothies visit www.caciqueinc.com, or follow Cacique on Facebook and Instagram where you will find recipes for your family made with delicious Cacique products.
Chicken and rice made all in one-pot with tomatoes, spinach, creamy white beans, and Cacique Crema Mexicana and Oaxaca cheese. Gluten-free!
Freezer Option: This dish can be made ahead and tucked in the freezer. Follow the instructions through step 4. Remove from heat, let cool, then cover with a layer of plastic wrap and then foil. Freeze. When ready to eat. Heat oven to 400°F. Remove plastic wrap and cover again in foil. Bake until heated through, about 15 minutes. Then continue with the recipe for steps 5 and 6.
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 lime
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 3 packed cups baby spinach
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup long-grain rice
- 1 (15-ounce) can navy beans, drained
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 cup Cacique Crema Mexicana Agria
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 (10-ounce) package Cacique Oaxaca cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
- Generously season both sides of the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and squeeze the juice of 1 lime over the chicken.
- Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large, oven-safe pan with a lid. Add chicken thighs and brown on both sides, about 8-10 minutes (they won't be cooked all the way through). Remove to a plate.
- Reduce heat to medium and add onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook until starting to brown, about 3 minutes. Add wine and scrape up any browned bits that have stuck to the bottom.
- Add spinach, broth, rice, beans, tomatoes, crema, and paprika. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Place chicken pieces on top and reduce heat to low. Cover and cook until rice is tender, about 20 minutes.
- Heat broiler to high. Remove chicken and rice from the heat and remove lid. Unroll the wheel of Oaxaca cheese and arrange it on top of the chicken and rice, trying to cover as much of the dish as possible. Broil until cheese is melted and browned in spots, about 4 minutes.
- Sprinkle with parsley and serve.