Southwest Chicken Tenders and Rice
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lay a large piece of aluminum foil on the counter.
- Combine the salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder and oregano in a small bowl.
- Arrange the chicken on the foil in a single layer. Use half the seasoning mixture to sprinkle the tenderloins evenly on both sides.
- Cut one of the limes in half, squeezing all of its juice evenly over the chicken. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Rub the chicken on both sides to evenly distribute the spices, juice and oil. Let sit for 10 minutes.
- Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a 4-quart shallow braising pan, ovenproof skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add half of the spice-rubbed chicken; cook, turning once, until lightly browned on both sides. It's not necessary to cook comletely through. Transfer to a plate; repeat with the remaining chicken.
- Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion, bell pepper and a pinch of salt to the pan, plus more oil if needed; cook, stirring, for 4 minutes or until the vegetables have softened. Add the tomato paste and the remaining spice mixture; cook, stirring to combine, for 1 minute. Add the rice and stir to incorporate. Add the broth; increase the heat to medium-high and stir to combine; cook until the broth begins to boil.
- Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and arrange the cooked chicken tenders over the rice. Cover and bake for 8 minutes, then check to see whether the rice has cooked through and all of the broth has been absorbed; if not, bake for 5 minutes or until rice has cooked through. Remove from the oven, uncover and sprinkle with cheese and cilantro.
- Serve right from the cooking vessel at the table, shielding the hot handles with pot holders. Cut the remaining lime into wedges to serve on the side.