Happy February, friends! Sending a little burst of sunshine your way with this big skillet of Chili Lime Mango Chicken and Rice. I’m so thrilled to be working with the National Mango Board this year to help tell the story of the small but mighty mango! They want to bring the world’s love of mangos to the U.S. and I’m happy to help.
First of all, did you know that these sweet little tropical fruits are available and in season all year round? I always think of them as a summertime fruit, but because of the different varieties available to us here in the United States, our grocery stores are always stocked with one that is ripe and delicious.
These green beauties with the pink blush are the Kent variety, and they are in season right now. You’ll know they are ripe when you press on the skin and there is a slight give. It’s all about the feel and not so much about the color with these guys.
This Chili Lime Mango Rice recipe uses fresh mango both in the rice and as a garnish. I posted a poll over on Instagram (come on over and join the party if you haven’t already!) and half of you admitted (thanks for being honest) that you have no clue how to cut a mango. If this is you too, don’t worry, it’s the kind of thing that totally makes sense once you see how it’s done.
Position the mango so the stem is on top.
Cut vertically 1/4 inch away from the midline of the mango.
Make the same cut on the other side.
Cut the flesh in a grid like pattern without going through the skin.
Use a large spoon to detach the flesh from the skin and scoop out the cubes.
And just like that, you are a pro! Now let me tell you about this recipe. I love it because it’s something a little bit out of the ordinary and full of fresh, bright flavors. It all happens in one big skillet, so you won’t have a big mess to clean up. While it’s not too complicated, it feels like something special, maybe the perfect cozy dinner to make for your loved one for Valentine’s Day?
We’ve got crispy chicken cooked on the bone so it stays nice and juicy, and creamy rice with lots of onions, garlic, chili powder, and lime. Serve it with fresh slices of mango, lots of cilantro and freshly squeezed lime juice.
The first step is to brown the chicken on the stovetop. This is very important – the fat needs to render out in order to crisp up. Next, add the rest of the ingredients in the pan, and cover it and let it bubble away in the oven. That rice will absorb all of the chicken broth and coconut milk and become tender and creamy, while the chicken cooks all the way through. For the last ten minutes, remove the cover and let that chicken skin get nice and crispy.
Add your fresh garnishes and it’s time to gather around. I hope you get the chance to try this one, and that you’ll give fresh mangos a go! Let me know what you think!
For the Chicken
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 5 bone-in chicken thighs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
For the Rice
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic press
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 cup cubed mango
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 fresh lime
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Fresh mango and lime slices
For the chicken
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a large oven safe pan* (I used a cast iron pan 12 inches wide, 2 1/2 inches deep), heat oil over medium high heat. In the meantime, pat chicken thighs dry with a paper towel, and then season with salt, pepper, and chili powder on both sides. Place the chicken thighs into the pan, cooking them until they are golden brown on both sides (about 5 minutes per side). Remove from the pan and set aside. Drain oil, reserving 1 tablespoon in the pan.
For the Rice
- Over medium low heat, add onion to the oil in the pan. Sauté until soft and translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1-2 more minutes. Add a tablespoon of butter to the pan, along with the rice. Stir to coat. Add salt, cayenne pepper, chili powder, and mango. Stir in the chicken broth and coconut milk and turn heat to medium high. Bring the liquid to a low boil for a few minutes, then add the chicken (skin side up) back into the pan, cover with a lid or aluminum foil, and carefully place in the center of the oven. Cook covered for 25 minutes, then uncover and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
- When the rice is tender and the chicken is cooked through (internal temperature should be 165 degrees), carefully remove the pan from the oven. Set the chicken thighs on a plate, and then stir the zest and juice of one lime into the rice. Place the chicken thighs on top of the rice and garnish with fresh cilantro, mango and lime slices.
*Make sure your pan is large enough to hold the amount of liquid required to cook the rice. It will be quite full, so transfer carefully!
This recipe is sponsored by the National Mango Board.