Let’s just take a second to remember this meal.

Black Rice Salad Bowls with Chipotle Orange Chicken, Cashews + Feta | halfbakedharvest.com

Remember its colors, its flavors and its general health appeal.

Because the boys have somehow taken over the kitchen and my mind. Oh man, it is bad. They have my brain thinking guy food. Over the top, amazing guy food that pretty much everyone wants, but only guys can get away with eating 24/7.

It’s bad, but it is so good.

Black Rice Salad Bowls with Chipotle Orange Chicken, Cashews + Feta | halfbakedharvest.com

Sometimes I can get so caught up in pleasing people and making the foods they love that I make only what they want and lose a little of my creativity in the process.

I am a people pleaser one hundred percent. Sometimes it is a great trait, but other times it is totally annoying. Like right now.

Black Rice Salad Bowls with Chipotle Orange Chicken, Cashews + Feta | halfbakedharvest.com

The boys are tired of my cooking.

Tired of the green, the reds, the oranges, the citrus, the quinoa, the fish and apparently just all things with color.

I have been fighting their requests so hard, but since the younger brothers got back from Europe yesterday I am feeling the urge to give in. The salads will not fly with them and their begging for “good food” is wearing on me.

No, it is kind of killing me. I feel so bad. I mean Creighton (my oldest brother) is only here till Friday and I have given him only a handful of meals that he has really loved. These tacos are his all time favorite, but I am hoping to crank out at least one more favorite before he leaves.

Black Rice Salad Bowls with Chipotle Orange Chicken, Cashews + Feta | halfbakedharvest.com

I have to say though, the boys totally missed out on this meal.

I mean, they let the black rice (so good) and the greens freak them out. Instead they ate chicken noodle casserole. A family recipe that people have been begging for me to share, but it pretty much goes against everything I preach. Then again, I also make it like every other week.

Like I said, it is a family favorite. People go nuts for it.

Black Rice Salad Bowls with Chipotle Orange Chicken, Cashews + Feta | halfbakedharvest.com

But this meal. It is just so flavorful.

And colorful. I love the colors (<–color freak!).

First of all, the chicken, it is a chipotle, cara cara orange and balsamic glaze that is lick the spoon good. It is kind of like a winter BBQ sauce that just knocked my socks off. The flavor is insane. I blame it all on the very simple ingredients that allow the orange, chipotle and balsamic to really stand out. The recipe makes a little more sauce than you will probably need, but I loved drizzling  it over a lunch salad the next day.

The black rice, or forbidden rice as it is also called, adds the heft. It gives the salad its heartiness and chew. Trust me, I was a little weary of straying from my beloved basmati rice, but it was a nice change up and the flavors of the black rice (really it is more of a deep purple) work really well with the orange. I have to say though, I did have a little bit of a hard time getting it to fully cook, but I do think that it was because of the high elevation I live at. If you run into this problem just add some more water to the pot and continue cooking until the rice is soft.

Black Rice Salad Bowls with Chipotle Orange Chicken, Cashews + Feta | halfbakedharvest.com

Oh, and the Cara Cara oranges? Wow, this bowl was my first experience with these and I am now addicted, SO good. Seriously, do not use regular oranges, buy the Cara Cara’s. It is worth every single extra penny.


Black Rice Salad Bowls with Chipotle Orange Chicken, Cashews + Feta | halfbakedharvest.com

Black Rice Salad Bowls with Chipotle Orange Chicken, Cashews + Feta.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 4 BOWLS
Calories Per Serving: 697 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 chipotle chiles in adobo minced (use 1 for less heat) + 1 tablespoon adobo
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • a pinch of salt and pepper

Black Rice + Salad Bowls

  • 1 cup black rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth or water
  • 2 cara cara oranges peeled + sliced
  • 2 avocados peeled, pitted + sliced
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes halved
  • 4 green onions chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup roasted cashews
  • 4 ounces feta cheese crumbled

Simple Dressing


  • Place the chicken in a glass baking dish. In a medium sauce pot combine the orange juice, balsamic vinegar, honey, tomato paste, minced chipotle chiles + 1 tablespoon of the adobo sauce, cumin, olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Place the pot over medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Simmer 10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened, reduced and become syrup like. Remove from the heat and allow to cool 5-10 minutes. Pour about 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup of the sauce over the chicken and give it a good toss (reserve the remaining sauce for serving). Place the chicken in the fridge for 20 minutes or up to overnight.
  • To make the rice: Place the rice in a pot. Cover with chicken broth (or water) and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook 30-40 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
  • Meanwhile heat a little extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high to high heat. Grab the chicken and when the oil is hot, add the chicken and brown for 5-8 minutes, then turn and brush with a little more of the remaining sauce. Cook until the chicken is tender and cooked through, about 5 minutes more. Remove from the heat and let sit five minutes, slice the chicken into strips.
  • To make the dressing: In a small bowl or glass jar combine the olive oil, lime juice, balsamic vinegar, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper. Whisk well, taste and season to your liking.
  • To assembles the bowls place some lettuce in each bowl, if desired toss the greens with a little dressing. Top each bowl with equal amounts of sliced oranges, grape tomatoes, sliced avocados, cilantro and green onions. Add the rice and chicken. Sprinkle with cashews and feta. Eat warm drizzled with more dressing and any remaining chipotle orange sauce if desired.

Black Rice Salad Bowls with Chipotle Orange Chicken, Cashews + Feta | halfbakedharvest.com

Just realizing this is more bowl food. Seriously addicted to the bowls… and the Cara Cara oranges.

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  1. I am wanting to make this but I am confused about what 2 in chipotle canned Chile’s adobo mined is? I
    Does she mean 2 cans? 2 inch chilies?

    1. Hi Tiffany! You need 2 chipotle chilies in adobo. Do not use 2 cans, just 2 chilies. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  2. Please clarify the amount of chicke this recipe is calculated to serve…2-4 pounds is quite a range and 2 four lb breasts or 8 lbs does not seem accurate. What am I missing?

    1. It is 1 pound chicken. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Thanks! 🙂

  3. Hi Tieghan, I made this meal last night (my 3rd recipe of yours to try) and it didn’t disappoint. The only problem I had with it was while cooking the chicken the sauce burned and made a rather difficult mess to clean up afterwards. Not sure what I should have done differently to avoid that. But the salad, and it’s ingredients were delicious and so pretty to look at. Even my daughter (who is the pickiest eater on the planet) liked the ‘Forbidden’ rice. Must have been the lovely Halloween colors. I will definitely be cooking this again. Thanks for another successful, new, and unusual meal!

    1. Hey Liz! So happy you loved this!! I would try just cooking the sauce a little less, this should stop it from caramelizing too much. Let me know if you have questions. Thank you!

    1. HI Lisa! Any orange you love will work just as good!! So navel or whatever your store has. Thanks!

  4. This was awesome! I made it with brown rice which was not quite right as it muted the great flavours, so I will be using black rice for sure next time. Thanks!

  5. I’m having the same problem with the sauce…it’s been “simmering” for over 30 minutes but still not thickening, only reducing (boiling away)…..help !

  6. I absolutely LOVE this recipe! I had never tried black rice before…..now I am hooked. Thank you so very much for sharing. I have made this for girls lunch at work a few times this past year, and each of them love it as well!

  7. Hi love this meal… But my sauce never got syrup like… Suggestions… I went ahead and used it with somewhat of a runny sauce.

  8. Wow, that’s just so colourful and I love the pictures with the oranges. Love anything with fruit and feta in it together and with the addition of the chicken seems like there’s some serious taste going on here!

  9. I adore black rice. That musky, sweet quality it has is so appealing, and it is gorgeous in this salad. Just lovely.

  10. Okay now we’re talking. This is my type of food. Looks out of this world refreshing. After Christmas, I’ve been craving such fresh flavors. This looks like it would well exceed my cravings. Yum!

  11. Absolutely all of my favorite things in one bowl! Tieghan, these salad bowls are beautiful. Almost too pretty to eat. Though I would dive headfirst into anything with homemade orange chicken.

  12. This salad is gorgeous! Hoping to try it as soon as I find some black rice.
    I agree, Cara Cara oranges are so good! I first found them at Trader Joe’s and they still have them at a great price.

  13. I am definitely addicted to Cara Cara oranges. I look forward to them every winter! I make an awesome brussels sprout and goat cheese salad with them (recipe is on my blog). So good! These rice bowls look like the perfect spot for them too!

  14. A fantastic looking salad. I remember the back rice from a trip to Bali years ago. Your are an amazing cook.

  15. Tieghan! Please post your family’s classic chicken noodle recipe! My family is like yours, and they love classics. They would love something like that, (and I would love something like this!)

  16. the chicken alone looks amazing but all together it is beautiful! sounds fabulous and love the colorful pics =)

  17. I love all the colors, the black rice, and the mix of flavors. What a delicious bowl – I’d happily eat this every night for dinner ;).

  18. OMG I need to go to the Tieghan school of taking mouth watering pictures! WOAH! Everything you make, besides being so creative in the flavors you combine, just look so darn delicious and drippy and yummy! I would love to see a post on how you do your photos if you would dare give some secrets.

  19. Okay, this salad = Gorg. I mean, there are just so many amazing colors and different flavors going on here!
    And I’m with you as far as guys taste buds are concerned—like you, I’m a total people pleaser and even though I love creative and colorful meals, the guys in my family do not. Soo yeah, I feel like I always have to appease their ever-present appetites. It’s worth it though, in my opinion, when they go absolutely nuts over something I make! 😀

  20. Such a pretty salad! I don’t think I’ve actually tried Cara Cara oranges but that needs to change ASAP.

  21. I want to eat this every day for the rest of my life and I haven’t even tried it yet.

    PS: I know I’m SOOOOOO behind with blog reading so you probably did your redesign like 10 years ago but I LOVE it!

  22. I completely relate to “the boy” food w/ 3 sons. My middle son (10yr) reads this blog w/ me & requests the recipe for chicken noodle casserole…of course
    Cara cara’s are a fav, they don’t last long @ our house!

  23. I go so hungry looking at your meal. I love how you mix and match your ingredient to create a magnificent looking meal.I love how you call you brothers the “boys” it sound like you are mother feeding a hungry clan. Have a great day today, Tieghan.

  24. Black rice is SO PRETTY, and so much fun to use! Love this dish with the orange and chipotle!

  25. I love Forbidden rice! I bought a massive bag at Costco (of all places) last year and I still have a ton left. It has such a great chew–and nuttiness to it. And YES–Cara Caras are the BEST!

    This salad is gorgeous Tieghan! Love all the flavors.

  26. Wow, this is gorgeous. I haven’t tried black rice yet, but I will now. Your photos are beautiful as always.

  27. Giiiiirl, these are the prettiest little salad bowls ever! I saw black rice the other day and was intrigued, but didn’t know what I would use it in…but now I do! I have never heard of a Cara Cara orange…but I live in Florida, the land of oranges, so I can probably find some.
    The picture of the chicken breasts with the sticky glaze is killin’ me.