Simply Healthy Family: Tex Mex Chicken and Rice with Bacon


Tex Mex Chicken and Rice with Bacon

Living in a house with picky eaters is really cramping my style.

My oldest son, who is now 19 (yeah, I'm old) loved spicy foods even when he was in diapers! I'll never forget the time we took a day trip up to Flagstaff, Az. when he was 6 years old and the pressure from his stuffy nose/sinuses got the better of him from the quick rise in elevation. My tough little guy was holding back sobs in pain. We pulled over in some little town in between Phoenix and Flagstaff and found a small, rickety Mexican Food joint {the best ones always are}. We sat on the small patio on fold out chairs and planned to order something quick while Britton had a chance to hopefully 'decompress'.

 The waiter/owner couldn't help but notice Britton, then a handsome young boy holding his head in pain (yes we had already tried a decongestant). He say's with a snap of his fingers

"I have just the thing for you mi amigo!"

A moment later, he was back with a very small, carefully held bowl of dark red, thin salsa (picante). Warily, yet somehow smugly, he placed it in front of my then 6 year old son. "This will solve your problem right away, but slowly o.k.!? 

Jim and I exchanged quick, nervous glances while my son, without hesitation, dove right in with a tortilla chip and shoveled a huge scoop of the liquid fire directly into his little mouth. His face just noticeably flinched in pain. He quickly gained his composure and while his eyes still wide in surprise, wiped his now runny nose and went back in for more. 

It couldn't be all that hot then right? My husband and I who are both Natives to Arizona (me by default) are not only used to spicy foods but require it in Mexican food and beyond. We both took a generous taste from the small bowl and immediately we were both teary eyed and gasping for air. That is some serious salsa!

To which the just returned waiter replies, "Well, I don't just put this out for anyone!"  My son, then requested a second bowl. My son.

My younger children on the other hand can't handle the ittiest bit of spice or most flavors other than cheese for that matter. This has created a serious cramp in my cooking style I tell you.
Seriously, serious.

How am I supposed to make Mexican food, a favorite cuisine of ours without loads of spiciness in it?

How am I supposed to make a Tex Mex Chicken Arroz without it having a kick to it?!!!

Initiation on! Someones gotta toughen up these kids. ;)

Oh, did I mention the best part about this meal (besides the stuffing into your face part?) It's a ONE POT meal my friends! Awww yeah!


4-6 boneless chicken thighs, trimmed of most of the fat

4 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup light beer such as Dos Equis Amber (or more broth or water)
1/2 cup of your favorite salsa (I love Safeway's brand, restaurant style Fire Roasted Salsa)
2 cups long grain rice
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 small yellow onion
1 medium red bell pepper
1 can black beans, thoroughly rinsed and drained
1 can sweet kernel corn, drained
1 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
Avocado and cilantro for garnish

Using  ye old  spatula-tong method, cook bacon in a large, Dutch oven in batches so as not to over crowd. Remove and let drain on paper towels carefully draining the grease into an old can between each batch. Set aside for later. 

In a small food processor, finely chop onion and bell pepper. 

Reserve a tablespoon of the bacon fat and leave it in pan. Add chicken thighs and cook 2-3 minutes on each side to brown. Remove from pan and set aside. Add onion and peppers to the pan and stir. Cook 5 minutes till translucent, stirring only once or twice.  

This is my favorite part, pour either the beer or about 1/2 cup of the broth into the pan while scraping of the browned bits with a spatula (don't use a metal one on a Dutch oven).  Now, add the tomato paste and using a slotted spatula stir it around the pot to combine it with veggies.  

Add the remaining chicken broth, salsa, rice and chicken thighs to the pot. Stirring to combine. Cook over medium-high heat for 10-12 minutes stirring occasionally. Add beans and corn, stir. Cover with a tight fitting lid and reduce heat to low. Cook undisturbed for 20 minutes. Remove from heat let sit for 10-15 minutes if possible. 

Remove lid, fluff with a fork. 

Serve piping hot on plates with crumbled bacon on top. Garnish with avocado slices and cilantro. Serve with an ice cold beer. 

I entered this recipe into the Foodie Blogroll contest: 1,2,3 Cook and Snap on Facebook and it would make my day if you voted for me!!!



  1. There's nothing like a bowl of rice. Your recipe sounds delicious!

  2. Bacon makes everything taste better, doesn't it? The rice looks scrumptious, Gwen.

  3. This blog has very distinct features. Thanks

  4. The.Boy is also not big on spice on he is TOTALLY CRAMPING MY STYLE. Maybe we should trade. I'll come eat your spicy food and the.boy and your kids can be relegated to the mild stuff. :P

  5. How funny about your son! I used to be a wimp on spiciness but am strangely loving it more the older I get. LOVE this one pot meal!

  6. I LOVE that you add bacon to this! Bacon and Tex Mex seems like a perfect match.

    1. It hit the spot for sure!

  7. This looks and sounds delicious, Gwen. Love that your son was eating spicy foods so young. My now 6 year old ate and loved some spicy Indian food when he was as young as 1. But not now. :(


If you really like a post please share, like on FB, Google +, Stumble and give it a THUMBS UP or Pin It on Pinterest!

I appreciate all positive and helpful comments! Thanks for stopping by.

 photo copyright.jpg
blogger template by envye