Learn how to cook an easy one-skillet meat and rice meal – your family will love this fast pan of Southwest Cutlets with Calico Rice recipe.
Pork and chicken cutlets are an inexpensive cut of meat that are quickly sautéed until crispy on the outside, yet tender on the inside. We also like to cook pork or chicken cutlets made in the Instant Pot when dinner is needed in a hurry.
One-Skillet Southwest Cutlets Recipe
Howdy! Chef Alli Here. Let’s Get You Cookin’….Shall We? 🙂
Around here, we eat a lot of skillet meals and a lot of Mexican, Tex Mex, and Southwestern-flavored dishes such as this one.
The Chunky Chicken Burrito Skillet absolutely comes to mind for me right now, and so does another chicken casserole favorite – Tasty Tex Mex Chicken Cornbread Casserole. Both of these meals serve a bunch of people, too.
A couple of new favorites of late have become 6-Ingredient Baked Chicken Tacos and Oven-Baked Taco Quesadillas.
All About Pork Cutlets
If you’re looking for an inexpensive and versatile cut of pork, take note of pork cutlets. A pork cutlet is a thin, boneless cut of meat that comes from the loin or leg section of a pig.
Because pork cutlets are flattened out to be thin with a mallet or tenderizing machine in the meat department, they are more tender and cook incredibly fast when pan-fried, oven-baked or grilled.
As another benefit, pork cutlets are very economical, just perfect for feeding hungry families. And due to the leanness and consistent size of pork cutlets, you can have dinner on the table in record time, making them ideal for a meal when time is of the essence.
All About Chicken Cutlets –
Chicken cutlets are more difficult to find at the grocer than pork cutlets, at least here in the central Midwest where eat quite a bit of pork.
If you see thin-sliced chicken, you can use that as your cutlet. Or, what I typically do is purchase boneless, skinless chicken breasts and slice them in half horizontally.
Next I place the sliced chicken breasts into a gallon freezer bag and pound them out nice and thin. Voila – you now have chicken cutlets!
What to Love About This Recipe –
- The southwest flavors of the rice medley really compliment the pork.
- Who doesn’t love a good speedy meal that’s filling?
- Just one skillet to wash after dinner – a definite bonus.
What Ingredients Do I Need to Make This Pork Recipe?
- Pork or chicken cutlets
- Spices – garlic, cumin, chili powder
- Chicken broth
- Red wine vinegar
- Black beans
- Instant rice
- Your favorite toppings – sour cream, cilantro, more salsa, etc., optional
How to Make Southwest Cutlets with Calico Rice in 4 Easy Steps
- Dip the pork or chicken cutlets into the flour mixture, making sure to coat each side. Meanwhile, preheat the oil in the skillet, stirring in the spices.
- When the oil is hot, add the prepared cutlets, a few at a time, cooking just until they are golden brown on each side; remove to a plate.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the skillet (but not the topping ingredients), stirring to combine; top with the browned cutlets, overlapping them a bit, then cover the skillet with a lid or foil.
- Simmer the skillet meal over low to medium low heat for 20-25 minutes until the rice is tender and the meat is fully cooked.
Easy Recipe Tips for Making Pork Skillet Meals
How do I know when the cutlets are fully cooked and safe to eat?
Use an instant-read meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat. Since a cutlet is rather thin, you’ll want to come in the side to enter the center of the cutlet with the instant-read meat thermometer.
Cutlets will cook very quickly since they are super thin. The hot and safe internal temperature for a pork cutlet is 140-145 degrees F. at the center. The hot and safe internal temperature for a chicken cutlet is 160-165 degrees F. at the center.
On a dial-type thermometer, when the needle stops this is the internal temperature of the meat. When using a digital-type of thermometer, the internal temp is when the numbers (degrees of heat) come to a halt.
What do I need to know about using an instant-read meat thermometer?
Using an instant-read meat thermometer is easy. For thin pieces of meat such as pork cutlets, insert the thermometer from the side, taking care to make sure it gets to the center of the meat. Don’t touch the bottom or sides of the pan as this can give a false read.
Can an instant-read thermometer be used for temping other foods besides just meat?
Besides just for meat, using an instant-read thermometer is super handy for checking the internal temperature of my casseroles. Since it can be rather difficult sometimes to tell when the center is good and hot, using an instant-read thermometer is ideal. If the temperature reading is 160 degrees F. at the center, I know the casserole is hot, ready, and safe to eat.
Is it okay if the pork is slightly pink in the middle?
It is fine for cooked pork to have a tinge of pink now. Formerly, it was recommended that pork should be cooked until it had an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. Pork cooked to this internal temperature will be gray in color, overcooked, and usually tough.
Cooking the pork cutlets to the internal temperature of 140-145 degrees F. produces beautiful, slightly pink pork – delicious!
Is it true that I can pound out chicken breasts to make chicken cutlets?
How to turn a chicken breast into a chicken cutlet: Place the chicken breast flat onto a cutting board. Starting at one side, slice the chicken breast in half horizontally, slicing it so that it opens up like a book; you will wind up with two flat pieces. Place each piece of chicken into a gallon freezer bag, use a mallet to flatten each one into approx. 1/2-inch thickness – you’ve just made chicken cutlets.
Does this recipe make good leftovers?
This skillet meal makes fantastic leftovers. As it rests, the flavors of the rice medley intensify, infusing themselves into the cutlets. Because the cutlets are thin, the flavors can really penetrate the meat much more easily.
More Delicious and Fast Recipes to Enjoy –
- Honey-Thyme Sausage and Veggie Sheet Pan Meal
- How to Cook Crispy Bacon in Your Oven….With No Splattering
- Instant Pot Holiday Ham
- Baja Fish Tacos with Honey-Lime Sweet Potato Hash
- Air Fryer Sausage Brats with Peppers and Onions
- Saucy Asian Chicken and Broccoli Sheet Pan Meal
- Easy Smoked Queso Dip
- Four Different Ways to Make Juicy and Tender Pulled Pork
Printable Southwest Pork Cutlets with Calico Rice Recipe
Southwest Pork Cutlets with Calico Rice
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. each: granulated garlic, cumin, chili powder
- 1-2 Tbs. canola oil
- 6 thin pork cutlets
- 1-2 cups chicken broth
- 2 tsp. red wine vinegar
- 1 cup salsa
- 2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
- 14 oz. can black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 cup instant rice
- your favorite toppings - sour cream, cilantro, salsa
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and granulated garlic; dredge each pork cutlet on both sides in the prepared flour mixture, shaking off the excess flour over the bowl, placing the cutlets onto a plate in a single layer. Discard the flour mixture.
- Meanwhile, in a large heavy-bottomed skillet that is oven-proof (I prefer a 12" cast iron skillet), heat 2 Tbs. of vegetable oil over medium high heat; add the garlic, cumin and chili powder to the oil, stirring to combine.
- When the oil is nicely hot, add the prepared pork cutlets to the skillet and sauté for 1-2 minutes per side, until nicely golden browned, working in batches as to not over crowd the skillet. Remove the browned cutlets from the skillet as you work; reserve.
- In the same skillet, whisk together the broth, vinegar, salsa, corn, black beans and rice; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Place the prepared pork cutlets directly on top of rice mixture overlapping them a bit on top of each other. Cover the skillet with a lid or foil, cooking over low heat for 20-25 minutes or until the rice is tender and pork cutlets are cooked to 140 degrees F. internal temperature.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and let it rest for 8-10 minutes, covered, before serving. Check the rice to see if it needs additional broth stirred in; garnish with extra salsa, sour cream, and cilantro, as desired.
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