We have had a loss of power for the last couple days.  Dana and I have been running out to various restaurants and stores to charge our phones and eat.  One of the restaurants that we frequented was a Mexican Restaurant.  I love tacos and tamales.  So those flavors were stuck in my head when I went to the store to restock our fridge.  So I decided to make a southwestern cheesy rice dish.  It was fabulous.  I grilled up some fajita chicken to add to it and it was a complete meal. Mac and cheese may be delicious, but rice and cheese takes the cake.

Southwestern Cheesy Chicken Rice

  • Fajita Chicken
    • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
    • 3 tbs fajita seasoning
    • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Cheesy Rice
    • 2 cups uncooked rice
    • 2 cups chicken broth
    • 1 red bell pepper, diced
    • 1 green bell pepper, diced
    • 1 can black beans, drained
    • 2 cups water
    • 3 tbs butter
    • 2 tbs flour
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • 1 tsp paprika
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp chili powder
    • 1 1/2 cups half and half, you can substitute milk
    • 1/2 cup processed cheese, Velveeta
    • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese

Fajita Chicken

Trim the chicken and then add to a zip top bag with the fajita seasoning and olive oil.  Shake to coat and let sit until ready to grill.

Marinate the Chicken

Preheat your grill to medium/high, make sure to set aside a portion of the grill for indirect cooking.

Grill the chicken

Remove the chicken from the bag and place directly over the heat source on the grill.  Cook for 6-7 minutes on each side.  Then move to an indirect cooking portion of the grill.  Continue to cook until the juices of the chicken run clear. Roughly 5-10 minutes.

Remove from the grill and set aside.

Cheesy Rice

Cook the rice using your favorite method, except substitute 2 cups of the water with chicken broth.  My rice cooker requires about 4 cups of liquid for every 2 cups of rice.  So I used 2 cups of chicken broth and 2 cups of water.

While the rice is cooking add 1 tbs of butter to a large skillet or fry pan.  Heat the pan to medium/high and then add the peppers.  Cook for 5 minutes and then add the black beans.  Continue to cook for another 2 minutes or until the peppers start to soften.  Remove them from the pan and set aside.

Cook the veggies

While the pan is still over medium/high heat, add the remaining 2 tbs of butter to the pan and then add the flour.  Using  a whisk, stir together the flour and butter and create a roux.

Add flour to the butter

Once combined cook while continuing to stir for two minutes.  Cook until the flour/butter mixture turns a light brown.

Cook till light brown

Add the half and half and stir until thickened.  While stirring add the salt, paprika, chili powder and garlic powder.  Next add the cheese.  Stir until the cheese is melted and you have  a smooth sauce.

Season the sauce

Stir the cooked rice into the sauce.

Add the rice

Add the peppers and black beans into the sauce.  Then add the chicken.  Make sure to fold everything together so that the chicken does not shred.

Add the veggies to the pan

Remove from the heat and serve.

Southwestern Cheesy Rice

This meal was quick and delicious.  The cheese sauce worked perfectly with the rice.

Rex is an avid griller, barbecuer and bacon enthusiast. He is the Pitmaster for the Rex BBQ competition team. Rex was also featured on the TV show American Grilled. If you have any questions or wish to have Rex decode your favorite dish, click on the ASK REX link in the menu above.

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