Chipotle-Spiced Chicken with Pepita Rice & Zucchini-Tomato Salad

Chipotle-Spiced Chicken

with Pepita Rice & Zucchini-Tomato Salad

40 MIN
4 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

Chipotle chiles aren’t actually their own variety of pepper. They’re simply smoked, dried jalapeños. The process used to make them adds incredible depth of flavor while retaining the jalapeño’s spicy kick. Here, we’re using a powdered version as a dry rub for chicken. The chipotle chars lightly in the pan, creating the perfect, crispy coating. And we’re pairing the spiced chicken with cooling, lime-dressed Mexican crema (a sour cream condiment popular in Mexico).

Get Cooking
  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    695 Cals (est.)
fresh
ingredients
Chipotle-Spiced Chicken with Pepita Rice & Zucchini-Tomato Salad
Title
  • 4 Boneless, Skin-On Chicken Breasts
  • 1¼ cups Long Grain Brown Rice
  • 3 Scallions
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 lb Zucchini
  • 1 Lime
  • 8 oz Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 large bunch Cilantro
  • 3 Tbsps Pepitas
  • 2 tsps Chipotle Chile Powder
  • ⅓ cup Mexican Crema
time-saving
tips & techniques
Make the pepita rice:
1 Make the pepita rice:

In a small pot, heat the rice, a big pinch of salt and 2 ½ cups of water to boiling on high. Once boiling, cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer 18 to 20 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Remove from heat and stir in the pepitas and a drizzle of olive oil; season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish and set aside in a warm place.

Prepare the ingredients:
2 Prepare the ingredients:

While the rice cooks, wash and dry the fresh produce. Medium dice the zucchinis. Peel and mince the garlic. Cut off and discard the root ends of the scallions; thinly slice the scallions, separating the white bottoms and green tops. Halve the tomatoes. Pick the cilantro leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Using a peeler, remove the green rind of the lime, avoiding the white pith; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Quarter the lime. In a small bowl, combine the Mexican crema, lime zest and the juice of 2 lime wedges; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cook the zucchinis:
3 Cook the zucchinis:

While the rice continues to cook, in a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the zucchinis; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic and white bottoms of the scallions. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Transfer to a large bowl. Wipe out the pan.

Make the salad:
4 Make the salad:

While the rice continues to cook, to the bowl of cooked zucchinis, add the tomatoes, half the green tops of the scallions, half the cilantro and the juice of the remaining lime wedges. Drizzle with olive oil and stir to thoroughly combine; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cook the chicken:
5 Cook the chicken:

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season on both sides with salt and as much of the chipotle chile powder as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. In the pan used to cook the zucchinis, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken, skin sides down. Cook 4 to 6 minutes per side, or until the skin is crispy and the chicken is cooked through. Transfer to a serving dish.

Finish & serve your dish:
6 Finish & serve your dish:

Transfer the salad to the serving dish of cooked chicken. Garnish the cooked chicken with the remaining cilantro. Garnish the pepita rice with the remaining green tops of the scallions. Transfer the lime crema to a serving dish and serve on the side. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

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Make the pepita rice:
1 Make the pepita rice:

In a small pot, heat the rice, a big pinch of salt and 2 ½ cups of water to boiling on high. Once boiling, cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer 18 to 20 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Remove from heat and stir in the pepitas and a drizzle of olive oil; season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish and set aside in a warm place.

2 Prepare the ingredients:

While the rice cooks, wash and dry the fresh produce. Medium dice the zucchinis. Peel and mince the garlic. Cut off and discard the root ends of the scallions; thinly slice the scallions, separating the white bottoms and green tops. Halve the tomatoes. Pick the cilantro leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Using a peeler, remove the green rind of the lime, avoiding the white pith; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Quarter the lime. In a small bowl, combine the Mexican crema, lime zest and the juice of 2 lime wedges; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cook the zucchinis:
3 Cook the zucchinis:

While the rice continues to cook, in a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the zucchinis; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic and white bottoms of the scallions. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Transfer to a large bowl. Wipe out the pan.

4 Make the salad:

While the rice continues to cook, to the bowl of cooked zucchinis, add the tomatoes, half the green tops of the scallions, half the cilantro and the juice of the remaining lime wedges. Drizzle with olive oil and stir to thoroughly combine; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Make the salad:
Cook the chicken:
5 Cook the chicken:

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season on both sides with salt and as much of the chipotle chile powder as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. In the pan used to cook the zucchinis, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken, skin sides down. Cook 4 to 6 minutes per side, or until the skin is crispy and the chicken is cooked through. Transfer to a serving dish.

6 Finish & serve your dish:

Transfer the salad to the serving dish of cooked chicken. Garnish the cooked chicken with the remaining cilantro. Garnish the pepita rice with the remaining green tops of the scallions. Transfer the lime crema to a serving dish and serve on the side. Enjoy!

Finish & serve your dish:
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