I wanted to serve a meal that would be easy and fun for my 4th of July barbecue.  I decided on a couple of tried but true recipes that I’ve used for many years now with great ease and success.  Mexican Black Beans & Rice is a dish that can be prepared in advance, always a preference for me when entertaining, and it pairs beautifully with the Green Chili and Herb-Stuffed Chicken recipe.   I urge you to use fresh ingredients, canned chilies and dried herbs will not give you the same great flavors you will enjoy if you use fresh ingredients.  Fresh herbs and produce are easy to find this time of year and they are worth the visit to the market.

I’ve included the recipes, if you have any questions feel free to leave me your Comments, along with your email and I’ll respond.

Mexican Black Beans & Rice

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 cup onion, chopped

1/2 cup yellow pepper, chopped

2 cups cooked long grain rice

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon dried, ground coriander

1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed

3/4 cup tomato, chopped

Heat olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until hot.  Add onion and yellow pepper and saute until tender. Stir in cooked rice and next 3 ingredients; saute 3 minutes more.  Add beans and chopped tomato, saute 3 minutes more or until heated through.  May be prepared ahead at this point, place in oven proof dish and cover with foil.  Reheat, covered, for 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees  and serve.

Green Chili and Herb-Stuffed Chicken

Bon Appetit Magazine

2/3 cup fresh lemon juice, divided

1/4 cup fresh parsley

8 jalapeno chilies, seeded and minced

2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced

2 tablespoons fresh thyme, minced

4 teaspoons salt

12 half chicken breasts, boneless (best with skin left on if possible, however I prepare this dish with skinless breasts and it is still delicious)

2/3 cup dry vermouth

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel

2 teaspoons coarsely ground pepper

2 tablespoons minced garlic

Marinade for the chicken:

Mix 1/3 cup lemon juice, parsley, chilies, rosemary, thyme, garlic and 2 teaspoons salt in medium bowl.  Slide fingers between chicken skin and meat to loosen slightly and form pockets.  (If using skinless, place all ingredients in the baking dish, place chicken breasts in marinade and turn once half way through marinating time).  Spread herb mixture in pockets under skin.  Arrange chicken in single layer in large baking pan.  Sprinkle with vermouth, remaining 1/3 cup of lemon juice, lemon peel, remaining 2 teaspoons of salt and pepper to taste.  Turn chicken to coat.  Chill overnight, turning once.

Grill chicken over medium coals until cooked through, about 10-15 minutes.

I hope you enjoy these recipes, they are two of my favorite Backyard BBQ recipes for summer.