Monday, July 4, 2011

Avocado Chicken and Rice

This is one of those dishes that falls into the comfort food category for me. Maybe it's the cheese. You can cheese it up for as much comfort as you need. I've posted the calories here at Calorie Count using slightly less olive oil instead of the butter and using only one cup of the cheese, less avocado, and slightly smaller servings (the calories are for four servings). You can do that, it changes the taste and texture just a little, but it's still very good and a lower calorie way to go. If you are calorie counting, use those portions, otherwise, make it like I do!

I am more likely to make it as described below, easy (also comforting), use some convenience items, and not worry so much about the calories when I'm making it, so I go for more cheese and avocado!

Avocado Chicken and Rice
Ingredients for three main dish servings:

1 T butter (or olive oil)
3 chicken breasts, cut into chunks
1 T butter (or olive oil)
1 package Low Sodium Chicken Rice-a-Roni
1-2 Hatch chilis either hot or mild as you prefer (or 1 small can hatch chili peppers) - you can use more chilis if you use mild or use a mix!
2 1/2 cups chicken broth or water

2 T chopped cilantro
1-2 C Monterrey jack cheese
3 small avocados, firm but ripe
1 lime cut in half
1 1/2 C Pace Chunky Salsa in medium or hot
extra cilantro for garnish - optional


In a large deep skillet that has a lid, melt the butter over medium heat, add the chicken chunks and saute until browned. Remove to a plate and cover with foil. Add the second T of butter to the pan and pour in the Rice-a-Roni. Stir til the bits of vermicelli are golden brown. Stir in chopped hatch chilis. Add the broth and the bag of seasonings that came with the rice and stir well. Add the chicken to the mix, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 15-20 minutes or til the rice is done. Stir in the cilantro and as much Monterrey jack cheese as you like.

You can do the presentation in a couple different ways.

Cut the avocados in half and scoop the seed and squish the lime juice over them.. Set two avocado halves on each plate with the cavity facing up. Spoon in the avocado chicken mixture, top with salsa, sprinkle with more cilantro and serve.

I've also done it as shown in the picture - make a ring of avocado slices and then mound the rice and chicken mix in the center, top with salsa, sprinkle with more cilantro and serve. Or just dice the avocado and sprinkle them on top.

 This recipe is easy to make for four or more, just increase the ingredients accordingly. There's a family size package of Rice-a-Roni that is perfect if you are making this for four.

Enjoy mindfully.

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