A family favorite in our household for over a decade.
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 3 bell peppers, sliced thin
- 1 medium yellow onion, sliced thin
- 1 large jalapeno, minced
- 4 1/2 C chicken broth
- 2 C parboiled long-grain rice
- 2 C sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 C Monterrey jack cheese, grated
- 1/4 C vegetable oil, as needed
- 3 tbsp fajita seasoning*
- 1 tbsp cilantro, minced
- 1 tsp kosher salt, to taste
- Season your chicken liberally, coating each piece well, with 2 tablespoons of fajita seasoning. Do this a few hours or the night before preparing this meal for the best flavor, but bring it out of the fridge about half an hour before cooking so it cooks evenly.
- When you’re ready to start making this meal, preheat your oven to 375°F and combine your cheeses together, then set them aside.
- Place a large oven-safe skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat and add enough oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan. When it starts shimmering, go ahead and add the chicken in a single layer. You want a nice sear on all sides so cooks the chicken in batches if needed. If the chicken sticks to the pan use a few teaspoons of chicken broth to deglaze the pan.
- Cook the chicken for 5-6 minutes, until you don’t see any more pink, then remove and set aside. If you’re going to finish the dish in the oven – see the post above or keep reading through the entire recipe before you continue – it doesn’t matter if the chicken is cooked through yet. If you’re skipping the oven finish (I do, often), make sure the chicken is cooked through before removing it from the pan.
- Add another small drizzle of oil to the empty pan and increase the heat to high. Add the bell peppers and onion. Season them with a couple of pinches of salt and toss them around in the pan until they begin to char on the edges and soften just a tad. How long is up to you: I only sear them for a couple of minutes and remove them because I like a firmer bite. When they’re done to your liking, remove the peppers and onions to rest with the chicken.
- Reduce the heat back down to medium-high. Drizzle another tablespoon or so of oil in the pan, then add the garlic and jalapeño and cook for 2 minutes, just until fragrant. Next, pour in the rice. Stir it around to coat in the flavored oil, and let it toast for 2-3 minutes until it’s lightly browned.
- Stir in the chicken broth, and bring to a boil. Cover with a lid and reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 10-12 minutes, until the liquid, has almost entirely evaporated and the grains of rice on the surface are visible.
- When the rice is almost dry stir in the chicken, veggies, and 3/4 of the shredded cheese. Combine everything thoroughly, then sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top of the dish in an even layer.
- Bake uncovered on the middle rack for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned and bubbling. Alternatively, for a looser texture, just pop it under the broiler on high for 2-3 minutes, until toasted to your liking on top.
- Let rest for 5-10 minutes before diving in. Sprinkle cilantro over the top of the whole shebang, or individual servings if you have cilantro haters in your household. Dassit!
- The yellow packet in the grocery store works just fine!
- This recipe was originally in my ebook As Seen On IG. It’s been fleshed out and adjusted, but it’s otherwise the same.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes