Crispy chicken is always a recipe for success. Add melty Monterey Jack cheese and bold spices to the mix, and you’ve got a winning dinner. Once baked, the crust turns golden brown while the meat stays juicy and tender. But wait...there’s more! The crunchy cutlets are topped with a homemade salsa fresca, then served with bell-pepper-studded rice and drizzled with tangy lime crema. Together, it’s a meal as elegant as it is satisfying and delicious.
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Green Bell Pepper
Southwest Spice Blend
Monterey Jack Cheese(ContainsMilk)
• Adjust rack to middle position and preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly oil. Wash and dry all produce. • Core, deseed, and dice bell pepper into ¾-inch pieces. Toss on one side of prepared sheet with a drizzle of oil, 1 tsp Southwest Spice (2 tsp for 4 servings), salt, and pepper. (You’ll use the remaining Southwest Spice in the next step.)
• Place 1 TBSP butter (2 TBSP for 4 servings) in a medium microwave-safe bowl; microwave until melted, 30 seconds. Stir in panko, Monterey Jack, remaining Southwest Spice, salt, and pepper.
• In a small pot, combine rice, ¾ cup water (1½ cups for 4 servings), and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until rice is tender, 15-18 minutes. • Keep covered off heat until ready to serve.
• While rice cooks, pat chicken* dry with paper towels and season all over with salt and pepper. Place on opposite side of sheet from bell pepper. Spread half the sour cream (you’ll use the rest in the next step) onto tops of chicken. Mound with panko mixture, pressing to adhere (no need to coat the undersides). • Bake on middle rack until chicken is cooked through, crust is golden, and bell pepper is tender, 15-18 minutes.
• Meanwhile, finely dice tomato. Trim and finely chop scallions. Zest and quarter lime (for 4 servings, zest and halve 1 lime; quarter remaining lime). • In a second medium bowl, combine tomato, scallions, juice from half the lime (both lime halves for 4), and a pinch of salt. • In a small bowl, combine remaining sour cream, a pinch of lime zest (you’ll use the rest later), a squeeze of lime juice, and a pinch of salt. Add water 1 tsp at a time until mixture reaches a drizzling consistency.
• Fluff rice with a fork; stir in roasted bell pepper, 1 TBSP butter (2 TBSP for 4 servings), and remaining lime zest to taste. Season with salt and pepper. • Divide rice and crispy crust chicken between plates. Top with salsa fresca and drizzle with lime crema. Serve with remaining lime wedges on the side.