Blackened Chicken with Zucchini Rice, Corn & Cherry Tomatoes

Blackened Chicken

with Zucchini Rice, Corn & Cherry Tomatoes

45 MIN
2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

Ancho chile powder, with its pleasant heat and subtle earthiness, is one of the best-loved spices in Mexican cooking. To make the most of its flavor, we’re coating our chicken with the chile powder, then searing the chicken in a hot pan—charring (or “blackening”) the spices and developing a tasty crust. A sauté of fresh, sweet corn and cherry tomatoes balances this succulent centerpiece with delicious brightness.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    710 Cals (est.)
fresh
ingredients
time-saving
tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients & make the lime crema:
1 Prepare the ingredients & make the lime crema:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Small dice the zucchini. Peel and mince the garlic. Remove and discard the husks and silks of the corn. Cut the corn kernels off the cob; discard the cob. Quarter the tomatoes. Cut off and discard the root ends of the scallions; thinly slice, separating the white bottoms and green tops. Finely chop the cilantro leaves and stems. Quarter the lime. In a bowl, combine the crema and the juice of 2 lime wedges; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Make the zucchini rice:
2 Make the zucchini rice:

In a large pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the zucchini and half the garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Stir in the rice and 1 cup of water. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook 12 to 14 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Stir in the juice of the remaining lime wedges; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cook the chicken:
3 Cook the chicken:

While the rice cooks, pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season on both sides with salt, pepper and as much of the ancho chile powder as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken and cook, loosely covering the pan with aluminum foil, 4 to 6 minutes per side, or until blackened and cooked through. Transfer to a cutting board, leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, and set aside in a warm place.

Start the vegetables:
4 Start the vegetables:

Add the corn to the pan; season with salt and pepper. (If the pan seems dry, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil.) Cook on medium-high, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add the tomatoes, white bottoms of the scallions and remaining garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until softened and fragrant. Remove from heat.

Finish the vegetables:
5 Finish the vegetables:

Add half the cilantro and half the green tops of the scallions to the pan. Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Plate your dish:
6 Plate your dish:

Slice the cooked chicken crosswise; stir any juices from the cutting board into the pan of finished vegetables. Divide the zucchini rice, sliced chicken and vegetables between 2 dishes. Garnish with the remaining cilantro and remaining green tops of the scallions. Serve with the lime crema on the side. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

1 Prepare the ingredients & make the lime crema:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Small dice the zucchini. Peel and mince the garlic. Remove and discard the husks and silks of the corn. Cut the corn kernels off the cob; discard the cob. Quarter the tomatoes. Cut off and discard the root ends of the scallions; thinly slice, separating the white bottoms and green tops. Finely chop the cilantro leaves and stems. Quarter the lime. In a bowl, combine the crema and the juice of 2 lime wedges; season with salt and pepper to taste.

2 Make the zucchini rice:

In a large pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the zucchini and half the garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Stir in the rice and 1 cup of water. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook 12 to 14 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Stir in the juice of the remaining lime wedges; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Make the zucchini rice:
Cook the chicken:
3 Cook the chicken:

While the rice cooks, pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season on both sides with salt, pepper and as much of the ancho chile powder as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken and cook, loosely covering the pan with aluminum foil, 4 to 6 minutes per side, or until blackened and cooked through. Transfer to a cutting board, leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, and set aside in a warm place.

4 Start the vegetables:

Add the corn to the pan; season with salt and pepper. (If the pan seems dry, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil.) Cook on medium-high, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add the tomatoes, white bottoms of the scallions and remaining garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until softened and fragrant. Remove from heat.

Start the vegetables:
Finish the vegetables:
5 Finish the vegetables:

Add half the cilantro and half the green tops of the scallions to the pan. Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste.

6 Plate your dish:

Slice the cooked chicken crosswise; stir any juices from the cutting board into the pan of finished vegetables. Divide the zucchini rice, sliced chicken and vegetables between 2 dishes. Garnish with the remaining cilantro and remaining green tops of the scallions. Serve with the lime crema on the side. Enjoy!

Plate your dish:
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