A Squared: What's For Dinner Wednesday: Shortcut Southwest Chicken & Rice

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

What's For Dinner Wednesday: Shortcut Southwest Chicken & Rice


Every now and then even a creative cook needs a few shortcuts.  The lovely folks at Kraft foods have been standing outside my office for the past few weeks handing out Fresh Takes packets and I have amassed quite a collection in my fridge.  If you aren't familiar with the FreshTake product, it's a blend of shredded Kraft cheese, breadcrumbs, and seasoning that you can use as a breading for meats or for a variety of other recipe ideas that Kraft has created.  It's a simple, but smart product.

So, this week when we were packing and getting ready for a weekend away-- and when I was feeling tired and uninspired this was just what I needed to get dinner on the table.  I created a quick Southwestern-inspired rice side dish and served it with grilled bell peppers and onions to round out the meal.  And dinner was as easy as that!




Simple Southwest Chicken & Rice


Ingredients:

  • 1 package Kraft FreshTakes Southwest Three Cheese Recipe
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts *Each FreshTakes package could probably accomodate at least 4-6 chicken breasts.  I've only prepared a recipe for 2 people here though. 
  • 1/2 cup dry brown rice
  • 1 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes with green chiles, liquid reserved
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • Cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.  Prepare chicken breasts according to directions on FreshTakes package and arrange on prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until the breading begins to brown and chicken is completely cooked through (not pink in the center) and the juices run clear.

Separately, drain and reserve the liquid from the canned tomatoes and add to a liquid measuring cup.  Typically, this yields somewhere between 1/3 and 2/3 cup of liquid.  Add water to the liquid until you have reached 1 total cup of liquid and add to a medium saucepan along with rice.  Cook rice according to package directions and once complete, stir in reserved tomatoes and chiles, cumin, chili powder, and garlic.

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