Cajun Spanish Rice Served With Grilled Marinated Chicken

by Marjan
It's time to take out the grill and enjoy gathering family and friends for a summer party. The smell of chicken on the grill, the sound of good friend's laughter, and cool margaritas on ice brings me personal joy for summer time parties. As with most of my gatherings, food is always the center attraction. This time, I'm serving lime, garlic and cilantro marinated chicken and Spanish rice to tantalize taste buds; with the addition of cajun sausage and spices, this Spanish influenced recipe is high on taste, low on fat, and good for my spirits.


Persians cook with a lot of rice.  Some of our most popular Persian recipes such as Lubia, Baghalee, and Kalam Polo incorporate basmati rice requiring skillful cooking rendering each grain of rice long, unbroken and prepared just right. I feel intimidated just thinking about it!
Spanish rice is just the opposite! Rice grains are cooked in a tomato broth rendering a sticky flavorful rice which is both delicious and easy to prepare. Don't get me wrong, I love Persian rice; it is a labor of love. But sometimes, its fun to let my hair down and just make things easy for myself around the kitchen...especially when there is a party to be enjoyed.
Nothing screams summer more than grilling! Intense lime, chili, garlic and cilantro marinated chicken grilled to perfection renders a nutritious and delicious summer time meal; served along equally flavorful Spanish rice is sure to make your summer party a fiesta to be remembered.
Time to party...


Serves 4-6
Ingredients

Chicken Marinade
6 chicken drum sticks
2-3 lime zest and juice
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin powder
1/4 teaspoon coriander powder
1 large onion finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic; minced
4 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
1/2 tablespoon sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil

Rice
3 cups long grain rice
1 large onion finely chopped
1/2 lb. andouille sausage (or any spicy sausage of your choosing)
2 cups heirloom tomatoes
1-2 jalapeño; seeded and chopped
1/2 teaspoons of crushed saffron dissolved in 1/3 cup hot water
1/2 tablespoon sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
2-3 tablespoons chopped cilantro and/or red bell pepper
1/2 cup olive oil

Prepare marinade the night before. Combine lime juice and zest, chili, cumin, coriander powder, garlic, onion, cilantro, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Transfer marinade to a large ziplock back; add chicken and store in fridge overnight or 4-6 hours prior to preparation.

An hour and half prior to serving, preheat oven to 350° F.

Remove chicken from fridge and discard marinade.

Prepare making the rice. Sauté onions and sausage in 1/2 cup of olive oil in oven proof iron skillet for 15 minutes over medium low heat. Add rice, tomatoes, jalapeños, saffron, salt, and black pepper; stir gently to combine all ingredients. Add 5 cups of water and bring to a gentle boil. Cover skillet with lid or foil and place in oven to cook for 50-65 minutes.

Meanwhile, grill chicken on either charcoal or gas grill. Make sure to cook chicken well. 

Remove rice from oven; using a large spoon fluff rice. Place chicken on top of rice. Garnish with cilantro and serve!

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