A Tian is both the type of earthenware dish used in these recipes and the genre of mostly vegetable and rice-based dishes, similar to gratins or casseroles. I’m a fan of precision in language, so this is a tian.
This is also a super-easy, 20 minute dish. You can improvise on the ingredients, but here are the basics:
2 chicken breasts
1 (small) can of plain tomato sauce
1 small onion, diced (optional, if you’re really in a hurry)
1 can of corn, NOT drained
1 cup of rice
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
2 medium tomatoes, chopped (or 1 can stewed tomatoes, NOT drained)
1 tablespoon ground red pepper (or a few shakes red pepper flakes)
salt and pepper
paprika and parsley (optional)
If you have the time, you can brown the chicken breast on both sides in a pan. If not, just rinse and pat dry. Toss all ingredients except chicken into a deep frying pan or sauce pan, heat until bubbling. Pour into a 9×13 baking dish. Stir in a few shakes of dried parsley, if you have it. Lay the chicken breast on top of the rice and veggie mixture. Sprinkle salt, pepper ( I use red pepper for color), and paprika (if you have it) over the chicken. Cover with tin foil (aluminum foil) and bake at 375 for 45-55 minutes–until chicken is no longer pink inside.
For serving, I slice the chicken breast into strips and serve with a heaping ladleful of rice. This dish can easily serve 4 adults. My two year old and 10 month old gobbled it up last night!
You can add different spices for different flavors, just be judicious and add them at the end so they don’t overpower the dish. You can also up the vegetable content by adding chopped squash, zucchini, eggplant, celery, carrots…any vegetable that bakes well.