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With many delicious and vibrant flavors, juicy and tender chicken, and plenty of fresh, healthy vegetables, these bowls of Peruvian chicken rice take the humble chicken breast from ordinary to super extraordinary!
If you're feeling a little "meh" about chicken right now, these bowls of Peruvian chicken rice will turn your chicken world upside down!
Although we have plenty of favorite recipes on file at The Café, our Peruvian Grilled Chicken Skewers recipe is definitely in the top ten.
We enjoy this chicken recipe throughout the summer and guests always praise the wonderful taste. Many readers have also written to say that it is also one of their favorites. Of course, it doesn't hurt that we serve it with a fabulous Peruvian green herby sauce (also known as Aji Verde) that is so bright and vibrant that you want to eat it with a spoon.
A recipe for any time of the year!
The problem with the Peruvian skewer recipe is the fact that there are many cold, windy, rainy, and sometimes snowy days here in the mountains of North Carolina during the last months of fall and winter. That makes it unsuitable for roasting dinner outdoors. So, while we were hiding indoors during this 2019/2020 cold weather season, I came up with these bowls of Peruvian chicken rice that capture the wonderful flavor of beloved kebabs in a skillet recipe that's easy to make on any time of the year.
This recipe begins with a delicious Peruvian-inspired massage. It is made from ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry and are readily available at any grocery store. The simple but magical combination of garlic salt, brown sugar, sweet and smoked paprika, dried oregano, cumin and black pepper is much more than the sum of its parts!
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Keep massage handy at all times
We enjoy the massage so much that I generally do a triple or quadruple batch and store it in a small canning jar. Having this smoky, sweet and garlic garlic massage on hand makes this chicken rice bowl recipe so simple. And sometimes, on busy days when I have less than 15 minutes to make dinner, I throw some vegetables in the oven for roasting and use the rub to make Scott and I have super tasty and super easy chicken breasts – a delicious dinner and healthy 1 -2-3!
I use the technique from our publication Juicy and tender chicken breast to prepare the chicken for these bowls of rice with Peruvian chicken. It's easy, fast, and, as the name implies, produces amazing tender chicken breasts, every time! The massage adds fabulous flavor, making it definitely "goodbye dry, boring chicken breasts."
There is also a simple sauce that you will need to prepare for these bowls of Peruvian chicken rice. It is made up, again, of simple ingredients from the pantry (soy sauce, honey and ginger). The hot and sweet sauce is added to the pan after cooking the chicken and removed to a plate to rest.
The sauce is reduced to a somewhat sticky syrup and then paired with black beans and lots of chopped peppers, red onion, jalapeños, and chopped fresh herbs. This vegetarian potpourri pairs wonderfully with the tender chicken breasts.
Peru: a fusion of flavors!
When I studied the culinary history of Peru a while ago, it was quite fascinating. Peruvian cuisine has been influenced over the years by Asian and Latin American cultures producing a wonderful fusion of flavors. That's why you find things like ginger and soy combined with cumin and other ingredients inspired by Latin America. If interested, you can read more about the history of Peruvian cuisine in this post on Peruvian Grilled Chicken Skewers.
So put these delicious and tasty Peruvian chicken rice bowls on your menu as soon as possible. You will thank yourself and your family / friends will request this easy dinner over and over again.
Coffee tips to make these Peruvian chicken rice bowls
- Try to find chicken breasts of fairly uniform size. If you have large variations in weight, your breasts will end at different times. The recipe will continue to work, but you will have to look at the chicken a little more carefully towards the end.
- I have served this food often without the Peruvian green sauce and it is delicious. But the vibrant sauce adds another layer of fabulous flavor, as well as a really nice presentation. I like to put it on the table instead of serving it in the rice bowls.
- After cooking the chicken, remove it from the pan and add the sauce mixture. Make sure to stir well and scrape up any brown chunks at the bottom of the pan. This is called "the hobbyist," which is a French word for base. It is where all the wonderful flavor accumulates and you definitely want it in your sauce. Don't you feel elegant?
- You can use one or two cans of black beans for this recipe, depending on your taste. If you use one, you will have a little more sauce and less vegetables. If you use two, each serving will have more beans / vegetables. It's delicious either way! In the image above, I used 1½ cans of beans.
- Use an instant thermometer to determine when the chicken is finished. You want to remove it from the tray at 160 atF (71˚C). The chicken is actually made at 165˚F (74˚C) but will finish cooking while resting. Instant thermometers are not expensive, but they guarantee juicy and tender meat. This Kizen model is super fast and comes with a lifetime warranty.
- After the chicken rests, there may be juice on the plate. Do not throw this away, as it has a lot of flavor. Just add it to the pan with the beans.
- You can use any color of pepper for this recipe. Instead of a large bell pepper, I like to use 5-6 of the mini bell peppers in a variety of colors. I think he makes a nice presentation.
- I mentioned earlier that I love doing a triple or quad rubbing batch. It is great to have meals on hand in a hurry. However, I don't add the lemon zest until just before cooking.
- The rub is really delicious on any meat, as well as grilled vegetables, tortilla chips, quesadillas, homemade naan, and sprinkled on yogurt for a flavorful sauce.
- Don't you like coriander? Not a problem, use basil and / or parsley instead.
- You'll need a large, sturdy skillet for this recipe for Peruvian chicken rice bowls. I love my Staub cast iron skillet. He is definitely a much loved workhorse in my kitchen! (pssst … this would make a wonderful Mother's Day gift!)
If you enjoyed this recipe, go back and leave a star rating and review! It is very helpful for other readers to hear the results and ideas of other variations.
Peruvian Chicken Rice Bowls With many delicious and vibrant flavors, juicy and tender chicken, and plenty of fresh and healthy vegetables, these Peruvian chicken rice bowls take the humble chicken breast from ordinary to super extraordinary.
- 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons of garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon of sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- finely grated zest of 1 medium lemon
For the sauce
- ½ cup low sodium soy sauce
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger
For the chicken:
- 1 ½-2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts 4 medium breasts
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
For black beans
- 1 to 2 14 1/2 ounce cans black beans
- 1 large bell pepper, finely chopped
- ½ medium red onion, finely chopped
- 1 medium jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
At your service:
- cooked jasmine rice
- fresh coriander and / or basil
- Optional Peruvian Green Sauce
- optional sliced avocado
- Lemon slices
- basil and / or coriander leaves
- For rubbing:
Combine brown sugar, garlic salt, cumin, two bell peppers, oregano, pepper, and lemon zest in a small bowl. Set aside.
- For the sauce
Combine soy sauce, honey, and ginger in a small bowl and mix well to combine. Set aside.
- For the chicken:
- Sprinkle the dough abundantly on both sides of the chicken, rub with your fingers to cover well.
Heat a medium large skillet (with lid) over medium heat. Add the oil and butter and heat until it starts to sizzle a bit. Add chicken, smooth side down, and cook 3 minutes or until golden. Turn to the opposite side, cover the pan and lower the heat slightly. Cook for 3-8 minutes (depending on breast size) or until internal temperature reaches 160˚F. If the breasts vary in size, the smallest will be done sooner. Remove the breasts from the pan when they reach 160˚F. Store with aluminum foil to keep warm.
- For the sauce / beans:
- Add sauce mixture to skillet, increase heat and bring to a boil. Boil for 1-2 minutes by scraping the bottom of the pan to remove any brown residue (the hobbyist). When the sauce thickens and becomes more syrupy, add the beans and simmer. Cook for a minute, then add the bell pepper, red onion, jalapeño, and herbs. Stir well to combine.
Serve the chicken in bowls with the rice and black bean mixture. Garnish with fresh coriander and / or basil and lemon wedges. Sometimes I also add avocado slices.
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