Leftover Wednesday – Monterey Chicken & Dirty Rice

After I graduated from college, I went to work at a restaurant named Steak & Ale.  I loved that place – the food was awesome and my co-workers were great.  My favorite dish was Monterey Chicken.  So, when I scoured the fridge and cupboards looking for something to do with the very last 3 chicken breasts in the house, Monterey came to mind.  I wanted something more flavorful than just plain rice to go along with it so I scoured the internet for a dirty rice recipe.  They all called for fresh peppers, which I did not have.  Then I found this recipe from VeggieBelly.com.  It’s a homemade dry mix in a jar for gift giving and no fresh peppers needed!  So let’s get started on what I did.

Here is a pic of (almost) all the ingredients I found in the house to use.  I had no green onions for the Monterey Chicken so I sautéed a Walla Walla Sweet because I just love them.  After taking this picture and then chopping all that needed chopping, I found 2 ears of cooked corn leftover from the weekend.  So I sliced the kernels off of one cob to add to the chicken and heated the other one up for B to eat with his dinner.

I roasted the corn kernels in a dry pan,*
cooked the bacon,
and sautéed half an onion in the bacon drippings.
Salted and peppered both sides of the 3 chicken breasts and cooked in the bacon drippings for 2 minutes a side.  Drained them on paper towels and let the chix ingredients sit until dinner time.
Then I made the rice.  Brought 2 1/4 cups of water to boil and added 1 chicken bouillon cube.  I didn’t even remember Ihad chicken bouillon cubes!  I bought them years ago when I was going to make a Paula Deen recipe and then decided not to make anything with a bouillon cube b/c of the ingredients.  However, I did not have any chicken stock on hand yesterday, so I decided to give it a try.  It worked out great.  After the cube dissolved, I added paprika, garlic powder, 3 times as much fresh oregano and thyme than the dry amount the recipe called for and 1 cup brown rice.  Brought back to a boil, stirred, covered and cooked on low for 55 minutes.
When it was time to eat, I turned on the broiler, rubbed one side of the chicken breasts with some BBQ sauce and put under the broiler for a few minutes.
Took the breasts out of the oven, turned them over and covered 2nd side with BBQ sauce.  Then topped with roasted corn, onions, chopped tomatoes, bacon and shredded cheddar cheese.  Put back under broiler for a few more minutes to heat up.  The broiler really crunched up the cheese.  Next time, I won’t put the cheese on that early.  The heat of the chicken and toppings will be enough to melt the cheese if sprinkled on top immediately after coming out of the broiler.
All three of us completely enjoyed this dinner!  I hope you do, too, if you give it a try!
*Update on “roasting” the corn in a pan on the stove.  I now put it on a foil-lined cookie sheet and stick it under the broiler.

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