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Chipotle Chicken and Rice

The chipotle chiles in this stovetop casserole lend an earthy, subtle heat to the dish.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4
Chipotle Chicken and Rice

Source: Everyday Food, July/August 2009


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 2 pounds total)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo, minced
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced large
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • Lime wedges, for serving
  • Chopped cilantro leaves, for serving (optional)


  1. In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Season chicken on both sides with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Working in batches, brown chicken on both sides, about 6 minutes total; transfer to a plate.

  2. Reduce heat to medium. Add onion and saute until soft, about 5 minutes, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pot (if necessary, add a bit of water to release browned bits).

  3. Add garlic, cumin, and chiles; cook until garlic is soft and fragrant, 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and 1 teaspoon salt and cook until tomatoes begin to break down and release their juices, 3 minutes. Stir in 1 cup water and return chicken and any accumulated juices to pot. Cover, reduce to a simmer, and cook 25 minutes.

  4. Remove several pieces of chicken and stir in rice, making sure it is completely submerged in liquid. Replace chicken, cover, and cook until rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed, 25 to 30 minutes more. Serve with lime wedges and cilantro if desired.


Quesadilla variation: To make a filling for quesadillas, cut chicken into bite-size pieces before cooking and omit the water and rice. Then simmer, uncovered (cooking time is the same).

Reviews (16)

  • Archana13 10 Jul, 2013

    Great recipe! I added green and red peppers and half a jalapeƱo minced bc I like it hot. :) this is a keeper.

  • ecmother 7 Mar, 2013

    This recipe is AWESOME. It's basically my idea of perfect comfort food, and it's a snap to put together. I like it with slices of avocado and creamy/tangy roasted corn So, so good!!!

  • dean1219 14 Sep, 2012

    Adobo, a marinade or sauce, can be made at home. It is vinegar, garlic, oregano, paprika, and sea salt.

  • dennisk16412 20 Aug, 2012

    Did anyone else have trouble with the rice? I doubled the liquid and cooked step 4 of the recipe using the rice direction's time. Some of the rice was still pretty chewy.
    Great flavor. Will keep trying.

  • vermicmpstr 15 Aug, 2012

    Whoops, I wish there was an 'edit' button.

    I meant to say I added the chicken with the rice, so as not to over-cook the *chicken*

  • vermicmpstr 15 Aug, 2012

    This looked too good, not to try. It was an absolute hit last nite with both of us.

    The chipotle chilies were huge, so I used one and it was perfect. I used boneless breasts, cut in half crosswise. I also added it the same time as the rice. I feel this is important, so as not to overcook the rice.

    This recipe went immediately into my "keeper" binder, and will be made often. I love having Sarah come to my inbox every day!!

  • Jan6273 7 Nov, 2011

    This was really good with nice flavor. We are spicy people so I added two extra chipotle peppers and instead of raw tomatoes I used a can of rotel tomatoes with chilies drained. I definitely will be making this again.

  • Kristine822 2 Nov, 2011

    Very nice flavor! Me and my BF love chipotle and spicy foods, so we thought we could have used a pepper or two more than called for. I also diced the tomatoes and onions in my processor for a sec so they weren't chunky (preference). Substituted brown rice and we had healthy and delicious dinner! The cilantro and lime really set it off! I will definitely be making this one again!

  • krista234 17 Aug, 2011

    This recipe was great! So easy and satisfying. I used two chipotle peppers and did not find it too spicy at all! If you are used to spice/heat, feel free to go with at least two.

  • MsChicklet 21 Feb, 2010

    This dish is really, really good. If heat is a problem, use only one chipotle instead of two. In a pinch, I've used canned crushed tomatoes if I can't find any nice fresh ones at the store. It's a nice weeknight meal because it's all made in one pot.

  • Cookingcutie11 23 Oct, 2009

    This was REALLY good. I used chicken breast halves instead of thighs. I used Jasmine rice and cooked it a little longer and added a little more liquid, and it was fantastic.

  • pattyluvspaul 28 Sep, 2009

    Delicious!! Amazing dish...used 1/2 the amount of peppers...still a little too hot...but GREAT....will definitely make this one again.

  • futurowoman 20 Sep, 2009

    This is delicious! The chipotles in adobo that I added were much hotter than any I've EVER had. This has been a hot year for chiles (and we are not wimps in our house about chile heat), so if you prefer milder chiles, test your chiles before adding this many. This is a easy dish, and very yummy; my husband and I both enjoyed it!

  • chefette86 16 Sep, 2009

    This was very good. I was a little ambitious with the chipotle chiles, might have used an extra one, with some adobo sauce. Even though we like spicy, I think I'll cut down to one for next time.

  • lizandrsn 16 Sep, 2009

    Anyone have any idea if this can be done in a pressure cooker? I'd love to see more recipes using a pressure cooker, since they're quick, convenient and considered "green."

  • iamamyhall 23 Aug, 2009

    This recipe is awesome!

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