I am looking in my fridge and noticing the last bit of a recipe that the kids absolutely loved, sitting there waiting to be eaten for lunch. It’s been called Fiesta Chicken or Spicy Chicken and Rice Bake, but because we have vegetarians onboard, I left out the chicken, so let’s just call it “Fiesta Beans and Rice”. We first tasted this dish aboard Sea Fox in August when we were invited to dinner in Stuart, Florida. It was love at first bite for Keenan (and also Daria who chowed down after picking around the chicken pieces). A recent potluck dinner aboard Sea Fox combined with the launching of this food blog got the kids asking again for the recipe. So here it is, my version of the Fabulous Fox (Chicken), Rice and Bean recipe!

Fiesta Beans and Rice
1 medium yellow onion, diced.
2-3 cloves of garlic minced.
1 green chile pepper diced, with seeds and insides removed .
1 Tbsp. of olive oil.
a dash (two shakes) of cumin, 2 pinches of salt, a pinch of turmeric and a touch of cayenne pepper *.
Optional substitute spices: chili powder, black pepper, paprika or mustard powder.
1 – 15oz can of diced/stewed tomatoes with juice.
2-3 diced small tomatoes (optional).
1.5 cups of white or brown (even better) Basmatti rice.
1 can of water (filled from diced tomato can)
1 – 15oz. can of black beans, drained (or you can rehydrate and cook your own black beans)
Optional add ins: corn kernels, chickpea’s, olives, and fresh cilantro, parsley or watercress if you have it on hand.

Super easy instructions:

– Rinse rice once or twice and set aside.
– Heat oil in medium size pot (make sure it will have a tight fitting lid) on the stove.
– Add onion, garlic and saute´ on medium heat for a few minutes before adding in chili pepper. Let the veggie mixture turn soft and brown nicely on the edges.
– Add spice mixture and stir just until veggies are coated and the spices release their fragrance (around a minute).
– Add a smidgen of water if spices start to stick so that you have a nice caramelized slurry
– Add the rice to the pot and saute with the spices, evenly coating the rice (you may need to add a touch more olive oil or water depending on your pot to prevent burning).
– Add in canned tomatoes and/or fresh tomatoes, stir all ingredients together.
– Add water and cover pot with lid. Bring to a boil, uncover once and stir, then recover and put to simmer for around 20-30 minutes depending on how much you like to cook the rice. White rice cooks faster than brown.
– When time is up, check rice for doneness and either add more water (if too dry) or leave off the lid while simmering (if too wet) for 5 more minutes.
– turn off the stove and stir in drained black beans or any other optional items, cover and let sit for another five minutes to warm new ingredients.
– Adjust for seasonings and Ta Da, you are ready to serve a wholesome one pot meal to your family! Enjoy!! Thanks Julie!!!

* Remember a “Dash” is one shake of a spice jar, a “pinch” is what I can grab between my index finger and thumb, and a “touch” is a little less than a “dash”.