Smoky Ancho Baked Chicken with Spiced Rice & Black Beans

Smoky Ancho Baked Chicken

with Spiced Rice & Black Beans

35 MIN
2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

This flavorful Mexican-inspired bake has it all: spiced rice studded with black beans and sautéed zucchini, seared chicken smothered in ancho-tomato sauce, and a final layer of melty monterey jack cheese—all baked in the oven to allow the deliciously bold flavors to meld together.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    860 Cals (est.)
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tips & techniques
Cook the rice:
1 Cook the rice:

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven, then preheat to 450°F. In a small pot, combine the rice, half the spice blend (you will have extra), and 1 cup of water. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook, without stirring, 12 to 14 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Turn off the heat and fluff with a fork. Transfer to a large bowl. 

Cook & slice the chicken:
2 Cook & slice the chicken:

While the rice cooks, pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper on both sides. In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken and cook 6 to 7 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, slice crosswise. 

Prepare the remaining ingredients:
3 Prepare the remaining ingredients:

While the chicken cooks, wash and dry the fresh produce. Medium dice the zucchini. Drain and rinse the beans. Thinly slice the scallions, separating the white bottoms and hollow green tops. Grate the cheese on the large side of a box grater. 

Cook the zucchini & make the filling:
4 Cook the zucchini & make the filling:

Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil to the pan of reserved fond; heat on medium-high until hot. Add the diced zucchini in an even layer. Cook, without stirring, 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened. Transfer to the bowl of cooked rice. Add the beans, vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil; stir to combine. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Wipe out the pan. 

Make the sauce:
5 Make the sauce:

In the same pan, heat 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the sliced white bottoms of the scallions. Cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until slightly softened. Add the tomato paste and chile paste. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until thoroughly combined. Add 1/2 cup of water (carefully, as the liquid may splatter). Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until slightly thickened. Turn off the heat. Add the crème fraîche and sliced chicken; stir until coated. Taste the sauce; season with salt and pepper if desired. 

Bake & serve your dish:
6 Bake & serve your dish:

Spread the filling into the bottom of a baking dish. Evenly top with the cooked chicken and sauce and grated cheese. Bake 3 to 4 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven. Let stand at least 2 minutes before serving. Served the baked chicken and filling garnished with the sliced green tops of the scallions. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

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Cook the rice:
1 Cook the rice:

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven, then preheat to 450°F. In a small pot, combine the rice, half the spice blend (you will have extra), and 1 cup of water. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook, without stirring, 12 to 14 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Turn off the heat and fluff with a fork. Transfer to a large bowl. 

2 Cook & slice the chicken:

While the rice cooks, pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper on both sides. In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken and cook 6 to 7 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, slice crosswise. 

Cook & slice the chicken:
Prepare the remaining ingredients:
3 Prepare the remaining ingredients:

While the chicken cooks, wash and dry the fresh produce. Medium dice the zucchini. Drain and rinse the beans. Thinly slice the scallions, separating the white bottoms and hollow green tops. Grate the cheese on the large side of a box grater. 

4 Cook the zucchini & make the filling:

Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil to the pan of reserved fond; heat on medium-high until hot. Add the diced zucchini in an even layer. Cook, without stirring, 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened. Transfer to the bowl of cooked rice. Add the beans, vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil; stir to combine. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Wipe out the pan. 

Cook the zucchini & make the filling:
Make the sauce:
5 Make the sauce:

In the same pan, heat 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the sliced white bottoms of the scallions. Cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until slightly softened. Add the tomato paste and chile paste. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until thoroughly combined. Add 1/2 cup of water (carefully, as the liquid may splatter). Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until slightly thickened. Turn off the heat. Add the crème fraîche and sliced chicken; stir until coated. Taste the sauce; season with salt and pepper if desired. 

6 Bake & serve your dish:

Spread the filling into the bottom of a baking dish. Evenly top with the cooked chicken and sauce and grated cheese. Bake 3 to 4 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven. Let stand at least 2 minutes before serving. Served the baked chicken and filling garnished with the sliced green tops of the scallions. Enjoy!

Bake & serve your dish:
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