Inspired by Peruvian arroz con pollo, Cilantro Rice with Chicken and Mint Sauce blends an entire bunch of cilantro and spinach into a pot of rice, tinting it green. It’s a full meal on its own, but you can leave out the chicken and it becomes a vegetarian side dish. If you use commercial broth that’s high in sodium, reduce the salt you add in the first step.
Cilantro Rice with Chicken and Mint Sauce
- 1/2 cup tightly packed cilantro leaves and stems stems coarsely chopped
- 1 cup tightly packed spinach leaves
- 1 1/2 cups homemade or low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/4 cups almond soy, or other plant-based milk, or cows’ milk
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 small hot green chili pepper optional
- 1 tsp salt divided
- 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
- 1 onion or 2 shallots minced
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 1/2 cups cooked long-grain brown rice well rinsed and drained
- 2 jalapenos optionally seeded (see tip)
- 1 cup tightly packed cilantro stems and leaves, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup tightly packed mint leaves
- 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp tightly packed chopped green onion
- 1/4 tsp salt
- In blender, blend 1/2 cup cilantro, spinach, broth, milk, cumin, chili pepper, and up 1/2 tsp salt.
- In wide-based saucepan or skillet with lid, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 tsp salt. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until browned. Remove to plate. When cool, cut into bite-sized pieces.
- Add onion and garlic to pan. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add a little water to prevent sticking if necessary. Add rice and stir for 30 seconds to coat.
- Add contents of blender along with reserved chicken. Stir and bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 20 minutes. Stir and cook for 5 minutes more if necessary. Remove from heat and leave covered, 10 minutes.
- For mint sauce, in blender, blend all ingredients.
- To serve, divide chicken and rice among plates and drizzle with mint sauce.
Per serving: 319 calories; 22 g protein; 8 g total fat (1 g sat. fat); 39 g total carbohydrates (2 g sugars, 3 g fiber); 592 mg sodium