Ricardo Zarate tops the chicken and rice with two Peruvian-style condiments: salsa criolla, a fresh tomato and lime salsa; and feta huancaina, a creamy, spicy sauce that’s typically served with cold boiled potatoes.
Slideshow: More Chicken Recipes
Recipe from Food & Wine Chefs' Easy Weeknight Dinners.
1 3/4 cups crushed saltine crackers
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoons minced red onion
3/4 ounce ají amarillo chiles or 1 habanero chile, seeded and minced
1 ounce feta cheese, crumbled (1/4 cup)
Freshly ground pepper
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (1 1/2 pounds)
1 medium carrot, finely diced
4 cups cooked medium-grain white rice
3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 cup cilantro, chopped
Salsa criolla, for serving
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 375°. In a blender, soak the saltines in the milk.
Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderate heat. Add the onion and chiles and cook, stirring, until the onion is softened and golden. Transfer to the blender, add the feta and puree until smooth. Season the feta huancaina with salt and pepper.
Generously season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over high heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn the chicken over, transfer the skillet to the oven and roast for about 10 minutes, until just cooked through.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the carrot, season with salt and cook over moderately high heat until softened and lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring constantly, until the rice resembles risotto, about 5 minutes.
Transfer the chicken breasts to a work surface and let them rest for 5 minutes. Stir any chicken pan juices into the rice along with the peas and cilantro. Spoon the rice onto plates. Slice the chicken breasts crosswise and arrange on the rice. Serve with the feta huancaina and salsa criolla.
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