Healthy Cuban Spiced Chicken and Rice

I loooove this recipe. Have made it twice, still perfecting it. You kind of can’t go wrong with chicken and rice, though. My main problem is figuring out the right timing for brown rice. But use white rice if you want to simplify your life. Adapted from Bon Appetit 

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  • juice and zest from 1 lime
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 jalapeño, minced
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 pinch ground allspice
  • salt/black pepper


  • 2.5 lb chicken legs/thighs, bone in, skin on
  • 1/2 lb chorizo flavor seitan (1 pkg Upton’s)
  • 1/2 small bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cups brown rice, *soaked in water AT LEAST 1 hour*
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 15oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 15oz can of chicken broth
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp turmeric for color
  • 1 pinch chili pepper flakes
  • 1 Piquillo or pimiento pepper. chopped (I get these from the olive bar)
  • salt


  1. Generously salt/pepper chicken. Place in large ziplock bag. Add marinade ingredients. Shake to mix and coat evenly. Refrigerate 8 hours+ (morning of for dinner, or night before for lunch). Turn bag occasionally. Remove chicken and set aside, reserving marinade. 
  2. Heat 1 tbs oil in medium dutch oven on medium high heat. Brown chicken skin side down. Do not crowd. Do in batches as necessary. 5 min per side. Set chicken aside.
  3. Pour out excess fat from chicken. Add onions and saute until soft, 5 min. Salt generously. Add bell pepper and garlic, saute another 3 minutes or until just soft. Add chorizo, breaking it up in the pot.
  4. Drain and add brown rice. Stir in and mix. Stir in canned tomato, chicken broth, paprika, turmeric, chili pepper flakes and rest of the marinade. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, cook for ~20-30 min. Add more broth if rice dries out. (***Do NOT over stir rice. It’ll make it goopy).
  5. Salt rice generously and stir once. Place chicken skin side up on top and push into the rice. Reduce to simmer, cook 15 min.
  6. Add piquillo pepper on top of chicken. Cover and cook until rice is cooked through, 10 min or so.

Note: In this recipe, brown rice takes at least 45 min to an hour to cook, with the soak.

It’s worth the trouble to have brown rice and seitan instead of white rice and sausage! Just think of how many more servings you can have because of those changes? (I keep my chicken with skin for the flavor. thAT I’m not giving up (: )

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