Spiced Chicken with Black-Eyed Peas and Rice

This is another classic ‘use everything you’ve got in your pantry/freezer/fridge’ recipe.  We had some chicken breasts in the freezer along with a bag of frozen black eyed peas, plus lots of brown rice in the panrty… this made a great start to a spicy “jerk” chicken inspired meal.  It’s got a nice kick, tons of flavors and fresh notes from the bright green garnishes… plus it is a very hearty meal in a bowl deal- which means it works great as a leftover packed lunch!  If you don’t have Old Bay ( like most people in the midwest that aren’t lucky enough to get fresh crab straight from the ocean…) you can make your own version.  We threw a bunch of suggested spices together based on what was on hand in the pantry- below is the estimated concoction of spices, add or remove the different hot ones to suite your taste buds. 

Ingredients (Makes 4 servings)

1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon homemade Old Bay seasoning
( 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes, dash cayenne, dash ground clove, dash nutmeg, 1/8 teaspoon garlic, 1/8 teaspoon thyme, 1/8 teaspoon oregano, 1/4 teaspoon dried mustard, 1/4 teaspoon celery seed, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
16 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 cup chopped red onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
1 teaspoon hot sauce
16 ounces black-eyed peas
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cup chopped cilantro


Preheat oven to 350º.

Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Combine paprika, seasoning, sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; rub all over chicken. Add chicken to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side, then place pan in oven. Bake at 350º for 6 minutes or until chicken is done. Cover and keep warm.

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté 3 minutes. Stir in rice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, hot sauce, and black-eyed peas; cook 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring frequently. Spoon about 3/4 cup rice mixture into each of 4 bowls; top each serving with 1 chicken breast half. Sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon green onions and cilantro.