This is a super family-friendly meal, popular with everyone. All you need is a nice salad.
3/4 cup short or medium grain rice
1 1/2 cups canned red kidney beans, drained and thoroughly rinsed.
4 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro (coriander)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
12-oz jar spicy taco sauce (I use the brand “La Victoria Red Taco Sauce – medium)
1/2 cup sliced black olives, optional
3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
6 scallions, green part chopped for a garnish
1/2 cup sour cream
Preheat the oven to 350 F
Lightly grease a deep, 9 inch ceramic baking dish.
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil, add the rice and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain.
In the prepared dish, combine the beans, 2 tbsp of the cilantro and some salt and pepper, then add the rice and toss together.
Lightly press the mixture into the rice and the mixture is flat.
Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper, heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat and saute the chicken thighs for 5 minutes, then turn over.
Add the spicy taco sauce and cook for another 4 minutes.
To assemble, spread half the cheese over the rice.
Arrange the thighs and sauce on top in a star shape, sprinkle with sliced black olives and 2 tbsp chopped cilantro, then sprinkle with cheese.
Cover with aluminum foil.
Bake for 35 – 40 minutes or until the mixture is bubbling and the cheese is melted and slightly browned – remove the foil for the last 10 minutes.
Cut into four servings with a knife and scoop out carefully, keeping the layers intact.
Serve sprinkled with the remaining cilantro, chopped scallions and a dollop of sour cream.