I have made this for the kids since they were 7 and 10 and they are now 22 and 25 and they still love it. It’s great for parties too.

Serves 4

3/4 cup medium or short grain rice
1 1/2 cups canned red kidney beans, drained and thoroughly rinsed
3 1/2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/4lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
12 oz jar spicy taco sauce. (In LA, I buy La Victoria Red Taco Sauce, medium)
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sour cream

Preheat the oven to 350 F
Lightly grease a deep, round, 8 1/2 ” ceramic casserole dish. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil, add the rice and cook for 10 to 12 mins, stirring occasionally. Drain.

In the prepared dish, combine the beans and 1 1/2 tbsp of the cilantro, then add the rice and toss together. Lightly press the mixture so that the beans are mixed into the rice and the mixture is flat.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Saute the chicken thighs for 3 minutes, then turn the chicken over. Add the taco sauce and cook for another 3 minutes.

To assemble, spread half the cheese over the rice. Arrange the thighs and sauce on top in a star shape, sprinkle with 1 1/2 tbsp of cilantro, then sprinkle with cheese. Cover with aluminum foil.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until the mixture is bubbling and the cheese is melted and slightly browned – remove the foil for the last 5 minutes.
Cut into four servings with a knife and scoop out carefully, keeping the layers intact.

Serve sprinkled with the remaining cilantro and a dollop of sour cream