Spicy Cliantro-Lime Chicken Jambalaya

This is probably one of my all time favorite recipes. Cilantro-lime rice mixed with fresh corn, black beans, red bell peppers, lime, jalapeño and spicy grilled chicken is an amazing combination. This dish is perfect for that outdoor spring or summer party, a weekend picnic, or just a weekday dinner with your family. 
Serves 4 main course, 8-10 side.

Read through entire recipe before starting.

First, prepare marinade for chicken:

1 jalapeño, finely diced
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped (about 1 cup whole)
1 shallot, finely diced
2 large garlic cloves, finely diced
1/4 cup oil
2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

2 large chicken breasts, cut into tender-sized strips

Start by finely dicing the cilantro, shallot, garlic and jalapeño and place in a small bowl. (Remove seeds from jalapeño, unless you want it really spicy.) To the bowl add oil, red wine vinegar, cayenne pepper, cumin, salt, pepper and lime juice. Mix together well and add chicken. Coat chicken well and let marinate for 30 minutes.


While chicken is marinating, prepare the rice: 

1/2 cup rice
1/2 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 sweet or yellow onion (about 1/2 cup chopped)
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest from 1 lime

Cilantro (about 1 tablespoon finely chopped)

In a blender, combine, onion, broth, salt and lime zest well.  Set aside. In medium pot, heat oil. Add rice and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes or so. Slowly add broth mixture and cilantro to rice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Fluff with a fork, cover and set aside.



While rice is cooking , prepare ingredients below, keeping separated, then set aside.

1 cup sweet or yellow onion (about 1 small onion or 1/2 large onion), diced
1 clove garlic, finely diced
1 jalapeño, finely diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 cup black beans (rinsed and drained well)
1 cup fresh cooked corn kernels--about 2 ears*

1 zucchini (optional)

      *(To prepare the corn, fill a medium size pot with water and bring to a boil. Cook corn on the cob for 4 minutes. Remove corn from pot and rinse with cold water for a few seconds. Once cooled, cut corn off the cob.)


Next, grill chicken for about 10 minutes (about 5-6 minutes on each side.) Remove from grill and cover with foil. Set aside and let rest for about 10-15 minutes.

After chicken has rested, dice into 1 inch pieces and set aside. 

While chicken is resting, heat a large sauté pan or wok with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add diced  onions and garlic and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat. Add 2 pinches of kosher salt and a few grinds of fresh black pepper. Add diced pepper and jalapeño and cook for about 5 more minutes. Add corn and black beans and cook until warmed through (about 1-2 minutes). Remove from heat and add rice and chicken. Combine well.

Transfer rice and vegetable mixture to serving bowl/platter.

In the same sauté pan (don't wash it), add 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and heat. Add zucchini and sauté for about 3-5 minutes, or until crisp tender and slightly browned. Transfer to platter. Squeeze juice from one lime over mixture and 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro. Toss well. Serve warm or at room temperature. 

Omit zucchini
Add zucchini, yellow squash and yellow bell pepper

Shopping list:
2 jalapeños
1 bunch cilantro
1 shallot
1 medium/large yellow or sweet onion
3 large garlic cloves
vegetable oil
red wine vinegar
cayenne pepper
ground cumin
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper
1 large lime or 2 small
2 large chicken breasts
chicken broth
1 red bell pepper
1 can black beans
2 ears of fresh corn
1 small zucchini or 1/2 large