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Cilantro Rice with Chicken and Mint Sauce

Serves 6


    Cilantro Rice with Chicken and Mint Sauce

    Inspired by Peruvian arroz con pollo, this dish blends an entire bunch of cilantro and spinach into a pot of rice, tinting it green. It’s a full meal on its own, but you can leave out the chicken and it becomes a vegetarian side dish. If you use commercial broth that’s high in sodium, reduce the salt you add in the first step.


    Hold the heat?

    The heat of the chili pepper comes from the white membrane and seeds, so if you like spicy, keep them when you blend the pepper. Otherwise, remove them.


    Cilantro Rice with Chicken and Mint Sauce


      • 1/2 cup (125 mL) tightly packed cilantro leaves and stems, stems coarsely chopped
      • 1 cup (250 mL) tightly packed spinach leaves
      • 1 1/2 cups (350 mL) homemade or low-sodium chicken broth
      • 1 1/4 cups (310 mL) almond, soy, or other plant-based milk, or cows’ milk
      • 1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin
      • 1 small hot green chili pepper (optional)
      • 1 tsp (5 mL) salt, divided
      • 1 tsp (5 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
      • 1 lb (450 g) boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
      • 1 onion or 2 shallots, minced
      • 1 garlic clove, minced
      • 1 1/2 cups (350 mL) cooked long-grain brown rice, well rinsed and drained
      Mint sauce
      • 2 jalapenos, optionally seeded (see tip)
      • 1 cup (250 mL) tightly packed cilantro, stems and leaves, coarsely chopped
      • 1 cup (250 mL) tightly packed mint leaves
      • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) fresh lime juice
      • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
      • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) tightly packed chopped green onion
      • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt


      Per serving:

      • calories319
      • protein22 g
      • total fat8 g
        • sat. fat1 g
      • total carbohydrates39 g
        • sugars2 g
        • fibre3 g
      • sodium592 mg



      In blender, blend 1/2 cup (125 mL) cilantro, spinach, broth, milk, cumin, chili pepper, and up 1/2 tsp (5 mL) salt.


      In wide-based saucepan or skillet with lid, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 tsp (5 mL) salt. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until browned. Remove to plate. When cool, cut into bite-sized pieces.


      Add onion and garlic to pan. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add a little water to prevent sticking if necessary. Add rice and stir for 30 seconds to coat.


      Add contents of blender along with reserved chicken. Stir and bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 20 minutes. Stir and cook for 5 minutes more if necessary. Remove from heat and leave covered, 10 minutes.


      For mint sauce, in blender, blend all ingredients.


      To serve, divide chicken and rice among plates and drizzle with mint sauce.



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