Southwest Chipotle Chicken and Rice Salad

Well the weather was perfect this afternoon so of course I had to BBQ. So I decided to make the Southwest Chipotle Chicken and Rice Salad. Everything goes on the pit except the rice. I love this dish in fact I just realized as I’m posting this that I already blogged about it last summer.

Typically I make this salad with brown rice but I’ve been using Rice Select, Royal Blend rice a lot, which comes in a variety of grains. Tonight I used one of my favorites which is the Whole Grain with Texmati Brown and Wild Rice with Soft Wheat & Rye. It’s delicious and heart healthy.

I prepared the rice as directed but in my rice cooker and it turned out perfect without a hassle. Typically though I prepare it on the stove.

Anyway, here’s the recipe. I hope you enjoy it.

Southwest Chipotle Chicken and Rice Salad
Makes 6 servings

3/4 cup olive oil
4 green onions, sliced
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon minced canned chipotle chilies*
1 tablespoon ground cumin
3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
4 ears fresh corn, shucked** (can also use 2 cups frozen corn kernels)
2 poblano chilies, quartered lengthwise, seeded
2 red bell peppers, quartered lengthwise, seeded

3 3/4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups Rice Select, Royal Blend Whole Grain Rice

Whisk first 5 ingredients and 1/2 cup cilantro in small bowl. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Place chicken, corn, chilies and bell peppers on rimmed baking sheet. Brush 1/2 cup dressing over both sides of chicken and vegetables. Let stand 30 minutes.

Place 2 cups rice and 3 3/4 cups water in a rice cooker and cook until done OR (Bring 3 3/4 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt to boil in heavy large saucepan. Mix in rice. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook until rice is tender and water is absorbed, about 45 minutes. Remove from heat. Keep pan covered and let rice stand 5 minutes.) Transfer rice to large bowl; fluff with fork. Pour 1/2 cup dressing over hot rice and toss; let cool.

Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Grill chicken and vegetables (use a vegetable grate) until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender and slightly charred, about 5-6 minutes per side. Cut chicken, peppers and chilies into strips. Cut corn off cobs. Toss chicken and vegetables in medium bowl with enough dressing to coat; add to rice and toss again. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide salad among 6 plates. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cilantro and serve.

*Chipotle chilies canned in a spicy tomato sauce, sometimes called adobo, are available at supermarkets in the mexican foods or ethnic sections.

**Removing corn kernels from the cob can be messy—they like to bounce off the cutting board and end up scattered all over the counter and floor. To keep those kernels in their place, insert the tip of the ear of corn into the center hole of a Bundt pan. Cut the kernels away from the cob in long downward strokes, letting them fall into the pan. (see photo in my earlier post about this recipe)

Great served with fresh fruit and tortilla chips. Perfect to bring for a BBQ. Oh and I almost forgot. Leftovers the next day are fantastic rolled up in a tortilla for lunch!

Of course you can use any grain that you like with this dish or doctor it up with your favorite veggies. We love it just like this.


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