Photo by Sonia Mendez Garcia

Blackened Chicken with Savory Mango Rice

Cuisine: Caribbean
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Servings: 6 people
The key ingredient in this flavorful dish is the fresh mango... it's blended right into the broth!

My inspiration for this dish was the beautiful ripe mangoes that are in season right now. I enjoy them pretty much on a weekly basis, even when they are not in season. During the week, when I am not grilling outdoors, I make use of both my stovetop and oven at the same time to shorten the total cooking time. I will often brown my chicken or pork chops in this manner and let them finish cooking in the oven while I prepare the side dish.

In the past I've added fresh mango to some of my rice dishes, but I've never blended them into the broth. I use this same method of blending when preparing my cilantro chile rice with poblano pepper, cilantro and serranos chiles. Growing up, my mom never really prepare sweet and savory dishes like this. But, I do remember her adding sliced bananas to the red rice she would prepare when we were very young children. I love to fry up some plantain chips to serve on the side of this dish. It's my grown-up version of that same rice my mom would lovingly prepare for us.

If you want to add the crispy plantain chips, score the green plantain and peel using a small knife. Using a sharp knife or a mandolin slicer, slice the plantain. Fry in canola oil heated to 350º F. Drain onto paper towels and season with salt while still warm.


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  1. Preheat oven to 350 ºF. Combine the dry spices for the chicken and season chicken on both sides. Preheat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, oven-safe skillet to medium heat for 5 minutes.
  2. Sear and blacken the chicken for 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to the oven and continue cooking for 30 minutes, uncovered.
  3. In the blender, combine 1/3 of diced mango, 2 cups chicken broth, 1 habanero pepper, 1/2 of the lime juice, salt and pepper to taste. Blend on high until smooth and set aside.
  4. In a skillet, preheat 3 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat for a few minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring when needed, until rice becomes aromatic and slightly toasted. Add the onions, peppers and garlic. Season lightly with salt and pepper and continue cooking for 5 minutes.
  5. To the rice, add cumin, coriander, turmeric, 1/3 teaspoon of pepper and toast for a few seconds. Pulse the mango/broth mixture in blender and pour into pan with rice. Stir well to combine, reduce heat to low and taste for salt. Cover and continue cooking for 18 to 22 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.
  6. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes. The rice may stick slightly in the center of pan, but that’s a good thing!

Chef Notes

If you prefer to steam the rice, prepare your broth and mango mixture as directed in the blender. Bring to a boil, add rice, vegetables and spices. Cover and cook on low until liquid evaporates. Fluff with fork before serving.

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